You first read about the U.S.-Guatemala TV kerfuffle here at ProSoccerTalk.
Now the other shoe has fallen. And it’s a big head-stomp from a nasty boot. This thing has crash landed into about the worst place it could. Well, second worst, perhaps.
The country’s second World Cup qualifier, against Guatemala on June 12 (and Jurgen Klinsmann’s first bite of the frequently bitter fruit that is CONCACAF qualifiers on the road) will be available only through pay-per-view, for a smooth $29.95 a pop.
Worse, I suppose, would be no TV at all.
Most of your questions on how we tripped and fell over the TV rights wire are here from U.S. Soccer, where officials are navigating damage control. Fans are passionate; U.S. Soccer officials understand (and even appreciate) that part. But the federation’s hands were tied here.
Yes, the federation could have ponied up to purchase the rights, I suppose. But this isn’t just a one-off. Other qualifiers are out there. If U.S. Soccer acquiesces to the asking price here (whatever it was, and it was presumable quite high), then the market value presumably is set.
Not defending U.S. Soccer. I’ve gotten on the federation before and will again when the doctrine of “call ‘em as I see them” deems fits. Besides, they don’t need it.
This one? It’s like a flat tire on a rainy night in an iffy neighborhood. It’s probably nobody’s fault; it’s just a bad situation.