International sports rights can be complicated, and one of ESPN’s reporters is finding that out this week. Brian Windhorst is in China to cover the FIBA World Cup, and he’s looking for a way to watch the Cleveland Browns Sunday. ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt asked Windhorst about this during an interview Thursday, and it led to quite the clips played on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt:
Van Pelt: “What are you going to do to watch these games, sir?”
Windhorst: “So, I have been told I’ve got to find ‘The Box.’ ‘The Box’ doesn’t have a name, it doesn’t have a brand, you can’t buy it in a store. But if you get ‘The Box,’ I can get everything. The problem is, I’ve got to get someone with a box, Scott, that will let me watch at 1 a.m. on Sunday morning when the Browns play the Titans. Now, I can get ESPN+ here, that’s where you see these games. ESPN I can get. I can’t get local CBS, local NBC, you know? So what I need is somebody out there; if you’ve got ‘The Box’ in Shenzhen, China, and you don’t mind having some visitors at 1 a.m., I’ll slide you a few yuan, if you know what I mean.”
Van Pelt: “Understood. So we’re talking about some bootleg technology that allows us access to television that’s out there in the universe?”
Windhorst: “That’s your word, that’s not my word! That’s your word. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m going to follow all laws.”
Beyond the obvious “are we not doing phrasing any more?” here, it’s quite funny to hear a discussion of how to watch pirated television on ESPN’s airwaves.