USA fans not only ones facing road qualifier viewing woes

EnglandPPV (Reuters)

U.S. national team fans still seething over the fact that the upcoming World Cup qualifier in Honduras is only available via closed circuit, you are not alone.

England national team fans are facing the same issue with England's upcoming qualifier in Ukraine, with English fans being forced to watch the qualifier either by paying for an internet feed, or by watching in select movie theaters showing the match.

As you might expect, England fans aren't happy.

What do you think of this story? Feel a little better than USA fans aren't alone? Hoping England fans raise enough of a stink to force some global changes? Already make your plans on where to watch USA-Honduras on Saturday?

Share your thoughts below.

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53 Responses to USA fans not only ones facing road qualifier viewing woes

  1. Deuce says:

    first. Cheers to hoping they raise enough stink to change these silly happenings. More than likely they will only change their own circumstance.

  2. Jeremy says:

    It seems like FIFA should allow the visiting team to control television rights for its own country. Let the host nation control the rights around the world, just not inside the visiting nation.

  3. Richie B says:

    the way it looks it doesn’t cost too much to watch it on the internet, i wish i had that option for the USA-Honduras match

  4. matt says:

    My first reaction was relief that we’re not the only ones in this situation. My second reaction is that now that England has this problem, they will surely bitch and moan enough to get this situation looked at more carefully.

  5. freddie footballer says:

    hope those fans boycott the pay per feed and watch online for free! that’ll show them.

  6. malkin says:

    I’d love to catch a USA game in the theater. That would be sick.

    On a separate note, I’ve seen Phish live in a movie theater and it’s definitely good times.

  7. Richard says:

    Sure freddie, just let me know where I can watch it online after you find it.

  8. Nate(Sounders) says:

    You usually have to pay to watch England play, and if you want to watch them at a bar its $20. Not sure why they moved this game to the web.

    England better win. Ukraine are a decent team, but it would be a huge upset if Croatia don’t make the playoff.

  9. afrim says:

    in this day of age when most ppl in developed nations have high speed internet i dont see a problem with intenret viewing being the only option.

    pubs over there can be creative and hook up LCD tv’s to a desk top and stream it from there

    sure its not ideal for england, but the US-Hondo situation is 10x worse

  10. Drew says:

    Luckily the Plaza 810 Zone in Kansas City is showing the game here, or else things would feel even worse on this front!

    The idea of the visiting nation controlling the TV rights in its own country is a great one.

  11. JSmiley says:

    From the Adding Insult to Injury Department:

    ESPN is airing 2007 World Poker Championship on ESPN Classic during the Honduras-US match.

  12. cannon ball cat says:

    its not really a fair comparison to be fair…

    England has secured qualification, so theyre not going to be going after the win so badly that they would throw themselves into tough challenges or anything.

    On the other hand the U.S. wants desperately to avoid the playoff and surely dont want to leave it late against Costa Rica, which is better than Honduras. They will surely be playing their hardest for that point that will secure qualification.

    and besides, when the U.S. does qualify you want to see the joy on the players’ face. England game might as well be a friendly at this point.

  13. Pat says:

    As stated above, I don’t understand why the visiting federations can’t control the rights within their own countries, as long as there is a understanding when it comes to the revenue.

    (SBI-The logic is that the country where the feed/game originates from controls the rights. A country can simply say, “Sorry, we won’t allow a match to be broadcast” and who can stop them?)

  14. DC Josh says:

    I’ll be at Babylon Futbol Cafe Saturday night in the DC area.

    Actually thought about taking the train up to NYC, but I’m broke.

    I don’t feel sorry for the England fans. I won’t be surprised if they are in the final next year. As for the US, if we get out of our group I’ll be surprised. So I don’t feel bad for their fans.

  15. megs says:

    Personally, I’d love to have the option to stream it over the internet (no, I’m not holding out hope for an illegal stream, with the original source being so closely controlled). As is, I have a 6-hour round trip out of state if I’d like to watch.

  16. Leonardo says:

    I’d love to catch a USA game in the theater. That would be sick.

    Posted by: malkin | October 05, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    me too! with THX sound – oh man that’d be awesome! or a drive-in so everyone can tailgate. or a stadium like the cowboys with a reaaaaaly big screen… or…

  17. A.S. says:

    The only way to prevent this from becoming more prevalent in the future is to make it unprofitable for these operators to only show the games on PPV. And that means NOT buying the webcast, NOT attending the viewing parties, NOT supporting the people who are restricting distribution in any way.

    Anybody who is paying to go to a viewing party for USA-Honduras (or paying the see England on the Web) is part of the problem and not part of the solution. They should be called out on it just like these operators.

  18. Al17 says:

    Damn!!! It must be an incredibly slow news day. I could give Rat’s ass about what people are watching in England or any other country. Fact is that this won’t stop ’til the nations being forced to pay per view reciprocate in the same manner. USSF should make it incredibly difficult for matches to be shown in those countries screwing us here. It’s that simple and to really drive it home don’t grant them the clearance to play friendlies in which they earn a ton of money here. Amazing how fast this crap happens when you mess with people’s money.

    (SBI-Al, you do realize that the purpose of the post was to let readers know USA isn’t alone in dealing with this type of issue, right? Just because it doesn’t interest you doesn’t mean it wouldn’t interest others.)

  19. Leonardo says:

    (oops) ya the theater would be best since there are no more drive-ins anymore and the sound wouldnt be as good.

  20. RLW2020 says:

    theater would be cool!

    in the Denver area, go to the Bulldog in downtown to watch the game for free!

  21. Making it non-profitable won’t work because people will still pay it out, and they also aren’t doing this for the profits. They are doing it to annoy the opposing fans. It would be far more lucrative to sell the broadcast rights to ESPN or FSC or what have you rather than try to charge piecemeal. This would never happen with the Olympics, and as best I can tell it doesn’t ever happen domestically.

    The only way to get rid of this, permanently, is to have FIFA step in and say that you cannot host international FIFA sponsored international matches if you do not allow fair access to the broadcast of the game in the opposing country. Anything else falls short.

  22. JGIB says:

    Anyone watching the game in Vegas I’m driving down from SLC to catch the game

  23. Mike says:

    who gives a ish about England? they qualified already anyway (or at least are close), we didn’t.

  24. Leonardo says:

    theater update –

    did some research. found SONY HOT TICKET. right now it’s limited to broadway shows like Rent and Cirque’s Delerium (sucks btw). link to

    Some theaters in Mass host big Red Sox games.

    Other than that, nada.

    if we could write a letter, get a gazillion signatures, then maybe Sony will do it in big metro areas at $20 a pop.

  25. Rod says:

    I think this is pretty crappy of Honduras and am looking for a way to see the game myself, but I also think this wouldn’t be as big of a deal if it were in the beginning of qualifiers, I mean, that would give us the opportunity to shut out the visiting teams TV feeds and profit off of it as well. Possibly more than they would profit off of it. Not saying it would be right, but

  26. JSmiley says:

    Many bloggers across the web are holding the USSF blameless in this matter. “Can’t do anything about it! It’s the Hondurans’ fault! It’s MediaPro’s fault!”

    I disagree. This should be USSF’s strategy:

    1) Sell the rights to the home games directly to ESPN (or the most competitive bidder, FSC maybe).

    2) In exchange for selling the rights directly to the broadcast company (bypassing the middleman and saving the broadcast company $$$), insist that the broadcast company aggressively pursue the rights to the away games, to the point of taking a short-term loss for one game, that would be compensated in the long run.

    Washington Post soccer blog reports that ESPN was offered the rights, for less than $1M, but passed, and didn’t even negotiate. Which is why we have Closed Circuit for Saturday.

    The England situation is different because the rights were originally sold to Setanta, for TV broadcast, but Setanta went bankrupt in June, and a new deal had to be struck. When it became apparent that the game was not likely going to be important for England (critical for Ukraine, though, but the money is not in Ukraine), other broadcasters passed.

  27. Robert says:

    This is all ridiculous and something needs to be done to make the games available for all to view, especially if it’s this country’s game. I’m very upset and will look to get a pirated signal online. From the looks of it, that signal will be terrible since so many of us are gonna try to watch it that way.

  28. Dman says:

    From the Adding Insult to Injury Department:

    ESPN is airing 2007 World Poker Championship on ESPN Classic during the Honduras-US match.

    Posted by: JSmiley | October 05, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    sooooooooo classic (I hate espn…poker is not a sport)

  29. Russ says:

    I’d be happy to pay for an internet feed, as compared to the prospect of driving 3+ hours to watch it on a TV at a bar.

    Why aren’t the “official US Soccer bars” all carrying this?

  30. Russ says:

    I’m hopeful too, but I must ask: How do you think that a pirate internet feed will exist? Somewhere, someone would have to have access to the actual feed to create an internet feed. I’m not sure that this will happen.

  31. Keith G. says:

    I just dont understand why these things happen, I think it is rediculous and the games should be aired so both nations can watch. Plus you would think they would do this so that the host country can make more money in selling the rights to the game to like FSC in order to let them get the game.

  32. brad says:

    This is out of control… If I have to pay for it, im not watching it…

    Let these PPV companies choke on it…

  33. JamesC says:

    The problem is the US networks don’t want to pay for the rights to a crappy feed for a US soccer away game that starts at 10 pm ET on a weeknight, especially when ESPN already has the Costa Rica game 3 days later. Boycotting the game isn’t really the answer because it could show US soccer fans aren’t interested in watching the game. It might lower the price of future away feeds but it doesn’t mean the US networks are going to pay for it.

  34. brad says:

    Why wouldnt FSC or Setanta step up…

  35. JamesC says:

    Oct. 10th would be a weekend, but still at 10pm ET.

  36. JSmiley says:

    Does anyone know:

    Is the game going to be televised in Honduras (on a station that won’t be shut down by the government? Lol…)?

    Is the game going to be televised in any other countries? Canada, Mexico?

  37. brad says:

    I find it outrageous. FIFA and UEFA should make it a condition of entry to World Cup and European Championship qualifying campaigns that games must be sold only free-to-air, both to the home market and the away market,” Perryman said.

  38. KCB says:

    Glad that a nation with more pull had this happen to them. The way it is done currently is causing problems in these strange financial times. USA suffers the most because we need every chance we can get to put our best American foot forward within view of the American public and soccer fence-riders.

  39. Daniel says:

    This is the beauty of Capitalism.

  40. Jammer says:

    re: (SBI-The logic is that the country where the feed/game originates from controls the rights. A country can simply say, “Sorry, we won’t allow a match to be broadcast” and who can stop them?)

    What logic is that? FIFA can stop them, when they give the visiting team tv rights for their own nation. That was the whole point.

    (SBI-FIFA doesn’t do that and won’t do that. It would be nice for is if they did, but that’s not the reality.)

  41. Derek says:

    Wherever I have to go, pay or not, I will watch this game!

  42. Daniel says:


    FIFA can’t really force a country to do anything. If the goverment in Hounduras did no allow the game to be televised but guaranteed the safety of the teams, it would still be played.

  43. Zac in Indy says:

    The Eng V Ukr is interesting because there may be some sour grapes as far as Eng is concerned. Rememeber, Crotia knocked Eng out of EURO 08. If they drop this game to UKR, UKR needs only to win against Andorra to qual. for the playoff. Kind of interesting I’d pay the 4.99 to watch.

  44. Greg says:

    Sounds like a terrible idea. I’m going to be at the Argentina-Peru game myself.

  45. The Wild Mushrooom says:

    We are watching history repeat itself. When boxing pulled itself from free tv almost two decades ago, prize fighters where no longer household names. As the NHL became less fan friendly and hoped people would pay to watch games on tv, their audience left. In fact the Chicago Fire were drawing in more people on average than the BlackHawks. Now the NHL desperately fights to get back on network television. FIFA should wise up.

  46. Jason says:

    British Bulldog in Denver is showing the game with no cover. But UF-LSU will be more entertaining.

  47. As far as watching a sporting event in a theater goes, it is awesome. I sort of did that a few weeks ago for the USC/Ohio State game in 3-D. I saw it at the Galen Center (which for those of you not from LA/USC, is the basketball/volleyball teams’ home stadium) and it felt like I was watching the game in HD with much better angles.

  48. Daniel says:

    @rene AMenijvar

    how does a live sporting event in 3D works?

  49. oscar_in_fw says:

    Any value to the USSF if the USSF “bribed” an English-language broadcaster to pay sufficient funds to win the broadcast rights ? Would the cost be justifiable in the name of growing the Sport and potentially increasing the fan base ?

  50. Bryan says:

    Any links to places in the US showing the match? I would be very interested in watching it somewhere in Houston.

    I have to use Sprint usb for internet and it isn’t quite fast enough to keep up..

  51. Bryan says:

    Glenn Davis said the Stagg’s Head might be showing it in Houston… I hope so..

  52. Scott A says:

    I started thinking about how in the UK, one must pay an annual TV license of around 230 dollars (less if it’s black and white TV), which covers radio and internet as well. If you don’t pay this you can’t receive broadcasts at all and this goes to funding the BBC. So if you watch TV, there’s really no free viewing, even after the hardware. So then maybe a non-mandatory payment to watch a game online is better? But I hate these money-grabbing companies? And also, the license fee also pays for internet, so then even online paid viewing would have an additional cost, but what fraction of the fee? Thinking about economics makes my head hurt.

  53. Shonmiguel says:

    So is there no way to watch the USA vs. Hondouras game on Saturday. DirecTV or internet?? I don’t live in a region where a bar is showing, Arizona.