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    #26
    Every time I've seen any of the half-time, pre-match or post-match stuff it's been sufficiently bad that I've switched it off. The half-time stuff was terrible in the early part of the tournament: if I'd missed a match, I'd like a rundown of what happened, but it would be nice to do it in a way that maintains suspense for the two minutes of highlights, rather than opening by telling me the result. The "analysis" of games and tactics was so weak that even I'd have been better. As - noted by the Guardian - was the fetishization of the shallowest possible angles (Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Brazil ... er... that's all we assume our audience knows about football, so let's focus on that and nothing else).

    But I didn't really mind the commentary. Sometimes it was prosaic to the level of being redundant "Pass by France. And that's a shot." But it wasn't offensive, unlike the in-studio crap.

    The mute button might be worn out, though.
    Last edited by San Bernardhinault; 13-07-2018, 20:32.

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      #27
      I thought Rae and Wagner were the standout commentary partnership. Apparently, Fox flew them out to Russia for the knockout stages, so I'm surprised they were not given one of the semifinals.

      I said up thread that I didn't think Fox would be any worse than ESPN, and they were not. In fact, their coverage was indistinguishable from ESPN's - even down to the presence of Stone and Lalas, both of whom were ESPN mainstays for years. So, yeah, Fox were awful, but not ground-breakingly so.

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        #28
        Totally agree. A duplicate of ESPN was the height of Fox's ambitions here, apart from insisting of having an American commentator or summarizer at every game instead of Darke/Macca (which at least meant the the England games were covered with less bias). I had to mute any game with Meola because he was just telling me what I could already see in a very dull way. Wagner OTOH was outstanding: often anticipated tactical issues, knew all the key players' strengths and weaknesses, could tell you where the coach was going wrong. Rae wisely just did the basics very well and let her do the depth analysis.

        The biggest crime of the whole coverage was the waste of Hiddink, which I may have mentioned above. Use him properly or just give soft questions to a moron like Warren Barton.
        Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 13-07-2018, 21:04.

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          #29
          I was out of the country for the bulk of the group stage so what I saw at that point was a mix of Spanish TV (shown in tapas bars), ITV (Irish bar in Madrid), or RTE (shown in an Irish bar in Barcelona). When I got home I went with TSN through IPTV since they are using a single commentator FIFA feed. I have been trying to catch up on games I missed and have gone with TSN when available or RTE. I can't stomach the US guys; Fox started unveiling them during the Champions League and it was painful. Derreck Rae is incredible. He spends a lot of time researching the sides before the games, but the US guys just seem to either treat the experience like calling the NFL or NHL (announcers) or share nothing that I couldn't figure out on my own (analysts). The ex-players act as if they know the game better than anyone else and yet I don't get any sense that they actually knew what they were doing when they played; they were good at what they did but not really thoughtful about it. Anyway, I'm glad I have alternatives via IPTV because I think the commentary options are much worse than ESPN other than that horrible 2006 experiment with Dave O'Brien.

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            #30
            Derek Rae has been good for years. He was a mainstay of ESPN's Champions League coverage in the 2000s and was so good he'd make Tommy Smyth bearable. Has a great voice for those big European nights.

            ESPN bought him back to the UK when they got SPL rights, and apparently he stuck around on BT doing SPL, Bundesliga and more until last year.

            He's got an American wife and family, which I think has possibly hurt his career as I believe he commutes to the UK to do commentary.

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