Obviously it’s a huge cost cutting measure to keep your commentators at home rather then send them to another Country, but the practice is usually reserved for smaller events than Euro 2008. According to USA Today that’s going to be the case for Derek Rae, Andy Gray and crew this June….
ABC/ESPN will televise 31 games in the tournament, which only aired on pay-per-view TV in the U.S. in 2004 and 2000. The networks normally use American announcers in part to help explain the sport to novice fans. All game announcers this time, however, are foreign-born: Gray, Adrian Healey, Robbie Mustoe, Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth. They’ll call it off TV monitors at ESPN’s Connecticut offices. “It’s a departure for us, a nod towards the game’s globalization,” said Tim Scanlan, who’s overseeing ABC/ESPN coverage.
I know it’s not really that big of a deal, but for some reason it really bothers me. Something is lost when the announcers can’t get a feel of the crowd and the atmosphere of the game. ESPN did this for the 2007 FIBA Championships in Las Vegas (Allllll the way to Las Vegas? Let’s save some coin!) and it just didn’t come off right. That was an extremely small viewing audience though, and while Soccer in the U.S. might not get huge ratings this event should be big enough to foot the bill.
Euro 2008 (USA Today)