Archive for June, 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010: We Americans Have Much to Learn (Part 1)

One of the best decisions I made as a child was to learn as many languages as possible thoughout my life.  Today, I can speak English, Spanish, Italian, and French.  This gives me the ability to, among other things, watch telecasts or read articles in other languages from countries around the world.  This past Sunday, I watched the Mexico versus Argentina match in the first round of the 2010 World Cup playoffs.  Periodically, I switched between the Univision telecast (in Spanish) and ABC’s coverage on Chicago’s channel 7-1 (in English).  In the end, I conclude that the networks’ presentations and commentating styles were vastly different.

ABC’s studio looked dark, austere, and serious.  Univision’s, however, used more colorful sets and a more lively broadcasting team.  Frankly, Alexi Lalas and John Harkes (I believe the latter was Lalas’ teammate in the studio) lacked the energy that Fernando Fiore showed on his own as Univision’s so-called “President of the Republic of Sport.”

Univision’s telecast of the game set a ratings record for Spanish programming.  It attracted 9.3 million viewers and stands as the most watched program in the history of Spanish television, according to Pablo Ramirez of Mexico’s Univision.  The American broadcast on ABC (which was orchestrated by ESPN) featured British commentators who did not effectively pass the “passion of football” onto the viewer.  Their slow, monotone narration sounded much too detached from the action on the field.  Furthermore, the team of Pablo Ramirez and Dr. Jesus Bracamontes often talk about the “beauty” of the game and use witty banter and their own positive attitudes to present soccer as an exciting and fun sport to watch.  They even teach viewers a thing or two about the game and how/why players made certain decisions through their use of Univision’s virtual playing field called “Vision 360.”  Could it be that ESPN was unable to find two American commentators who could match the Univision team’s enthusiasm, or even the rather cool British commentators they used for the Mexico/Argentina game?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my analysis of the FIFA World Cup 2010 as presented on Univision and ABC.

Cam Suarez-Bitar.


A Wrench in the Plan

Dear Readers,

As I was moving to a new apartment in early June, I thought I would have internet access up and running in no-time.  It turns out that my internet provider’s slow turn-around time will keep me offline until early next week.  My next article will be posted Monday 28 June.  This unexpected “wrench in the plan” left me to depend on a remote computer at the university for now, but I will post regularly once again in just 2 weeks.

Thanks again for all of your support and remember that I am only an email away.

Best regards,

Cam Suarez-Bitar.

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