Fox Sports has caught a lot of flack the last two years over the way they’ve promoted start times for FIFA World Cup matches. ESPN’s Karl Ravech had a little fun at their expense on Friday.
If you checked the listings for Fox’s coverage of the most recent men’s and women’s World Cups, you would often find that the match didn’t actually start until an hour, if not two, later. Critics accused Fox of being “disrespectful” to viewers, especially when the Qatar and Australia/New Zealand locations often meant that American audiences were waking up in the middle of the night to watch.
Plus, “subjecting fans to Alexi Lalas in the pregame is cruel and unusual punishment at any hour,” said NY Post reporter Andrew Marchand during last year’s FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar.
Fox received a fresh round of complaints during the FIFA Women’s World Cup and those cries got loud enough that rival network ESPN clearly heard them. Ravech, who was calling a Little League World Series game, took a moment to send a cheeky shot in Fox’s direction when promoting the upcoming broadcast of their own soccer match.
“Starting at noon Eastern, 9 a.m. Pacific, 12:30 kickoff,” said Ravech. “Want to make sure we’re upfront and honest and transparent. The kickoff is at 12:30 on ABC, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes.”
"Starting at noon Eastern, 9 a.m. Pacific, 12:30 kickoff. Want to make sure we're upfront and honest and transparent. The kickoff is at 12:30…"
? Fox. pic.twitter.com/CXKIusUKBj
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 18, 2023
Appreciated by soccer fans who need to catch up on their sleep? Almost certainly.