Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sports commentary is dead

Recently, I've been trying to watch and/or listen to the World Cup matches when I discovered a peculiar thing. Sports commentary is virtually a dead art.

I don't think I'm the only person to notice that what stands for play-by-play commentary now is the commentator saying the names of about half of the players that are part of the play and then announcing a goal or a near goal. I suppose this is acceptable if there is accompanying video but if you only have have access to audio, it really is not going to cut it.

The worst offender I have found for this is ESPN. They have an Internet radio stream that seems like it is just their television broadcast without the video. The commentators are more likely to be talking about an injured player than what is happening on the pitch.

I don't think that this applies to just soccer, either. I recall noticing a similar absence of commentary while watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year but I wasn't concerned as I wasn't scrambling to find an audio-only feed of the games.

All is not lost, though. I managed to listen to some BBC Radio 5 commentary on one of the games before the BBC iPlayer decided that it did not want to let me listen due to "digital rights restrictions" which is a shame. I was really enjoying the play-by-play that they had. It would seem that, living in Canada, I am not entitled enough to listen to their much better commentary. I understand that the British people pay taxes that support the BBC and the BBC doesn't want to give away for free something that people have been taxed to produce but it's really annoying. This leaves me with trying to find a way to circumvent the BBC iPlayer's regional restriction, which I hope is still legal in Canada.

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