USMNT to play all three World Cup group stage matches on ESPN

Omar Gonzales

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Fans of the U.S. Men’s National Team can finally mark down in their calendars where they can watch the team at the 2014 World Cup.

ESPN announced on Monday that they will televise all three of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s group stage matches on their main channel, ESPN, along with 40 other matches on that channel and another 11 games shown on ESPN2. ABC will televise 10 games during the World Cup, including the World Cup final at the Maracana on July 12 at 2:30 p.m.

The USMNT opens its World Cup campaign on June 16 at 5:30 p.m. against Ghana in Natal, followed by a matchup with Portugal on June 22 at 5:30 p.m. in Manaus, and the U.S. finishes against Germany on June 26 at 11:30 a.m. in Recife.

The 2014 World Cup begins on June 12 with Brazil hosting Croatia in Sao Paulo at 3:30 p.m. All ESPN and ESPN2 matches are also available to watch online at WatchESPN and the ABC matches will be available on Watch ABC.

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What do you think of this news? Glad to see the USMNT on ESPN this summer? Wish they would have been on ABC instead?

Share your thoughts below.

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68 Responses to USMNT to play all three World Cup group stage matches on ESPN

  1. Eric says:

    ABC sure got some crummy games. How is the Sunday Portugal match not on there?

    • Jon says:

      Possible conflict with NBA Finals.
      ABC had to hate the draw. No marquee games on weekend afternoons.

      • HoboMike says:

        ABC can change some of it’s programming.

        Germany/Portugal is on Monday at 11:30. For comparison’s sake, next Monday, The View is on at 11, Eyewitness news at 12, and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire at 12:30. Not a stretch to say the game would get at least double the viewers of those three programs.

        We can go down the list:
        Span v. Netherlands, Friday, 3 PM (Katie Couric, Eyewitness News)
        Spain v. Chile, Wednesday, 3 PM (Katie Couric, Eyewitness News)
        Netherlands v. Chile, Monday, 11:30 (The View)

        Shows what really matters.

        • Jon says:

          Yeah…they’re not going to do any of that.

        • beto says:

          Ppl still watch that garbage?!

        • Joe Soccer says:

          Well yeah, it does show what really matters. None of those shows you listed are ABC shows. They are all syndicated shows or local news. Because ABC (and the other networks) don’t really program afternoons. They do offer some shows to the local affiliates (such as the soap operas), but the local stations are under no obligation to air those shows. And many do not. Because what really matters to the local affiliates is making money, and it is an absolute guarantee that a local station makes more money on their 6:00 news broadcast (for example) than they ever will by showing a World Cup soccer game.

          For a two hour World Cup soccer broadcast the local affiliate will get (if I remember correctly) eight minutes of commercial time to sell, four minutes per hour. If they show an hour of local news they can sell as many commercials as they want. Generally that would be at least 16 minutes of commercials per hour. So you are talking about over two hours the local affiliates either being able to sell eight minutes of commercials with a World Cup game or 32 minutes of commercials with local news and other syndicated programming. Guess which one of those makes the local affiliates more money?

          There is a reason that the networks generally do not do much programming from mid-morning until the national evening news, and that’s because the affiliates don’t want then to and prefer to show their own programming then, because that’s where the local affiliates make their money.

      • bbstl says:

        The NBA finals begin on 6/5, so they should be finished by the 22nd. However, with the NBA playoffs, each series takes approximately 6 weeks to complete, so you never know.

    • sony says:

      F*ck ABC you can watch all games on Univision/UniMass in Spanish.

      • lprevolution says:

        Yeah. Tell ‘em about it. Word up! Free yourself from mail white corporate oppression Cool Thing. Let’s all watch the games on Univision/UniMass. Come on! Is everybody with me?

      • atleticodemadridfan says:

        Arriba!

        And their commentators are so, so much better informed, and entertaining – verdaderos profesionales, con un conocimiento profundo y experto cuando se habla del futbol.

        • KillerInstinct says:

          you are joking right? Most of the comentators are Mexican who are completely oblivious to the USMNT players or upcoming players…many may laugh, but I dont think Twelveman is that bad of an anouncer and he actually provides more in depth information about the players..hell, he even knows most them personally.

  2. Ron says:

    I love the start times! No more getting up at 3 AM to watch a match.

  3. drew11 says:

    ESPN/ABC are putting the US games on ESPN so you must have cable or sat. They do the same thing with college FB now. Nearly all of the bowl games were on ESPN last year.

    • jonk says:

      As I remember, it was the same way in 2010, but at least back then the ESPN3 web app was in a period of free-ness (at least if you had the right internet provider). It’s just unfortunate that the only weekend US game is in the primetime slot. I guess I’ll be signing up for a month of cable.

  4. Yankeedom says:

    I only hope they use the whole screen and don’t use the annoying sports ticker that runs on the bottom of the screen the whole game and cuts out some of the frame.

    • user222 says:

      yep… ESPN hasn’t figure out soccer fans don’t care for baseball scores.

      • Helium-3 says:

        Exactly!!! In this day and age, people have smart phones/tablets and no need to push this info onto soccer fans. There is espnnews and other crappy sports news channel so what is the point of annoying people tuning in specifically to watch a soccer match

        Are you listening Fox and NBCSN ???

  5. Joe says:

    Not happy. Comcast can kiss my sack.

  6. jon says:

    Gonzalez kinda looks like Zlatan with a crazy tan.

  7. JayAre says:

    The crazy part about this is I’m actually contemplating taking summer courses or watching the WC. Idk if I can handle both. I need help

    • whoop-whoop says:

      Yeah, that’s a tough one Jay. Sure you can catch the games and pull it off but… be awful hard to make WC the 2 week overindulgent, soccer carnival it was intended to be. And… you know damn well should the US somehow make it out of their group, your classes are as good as done. Maybe you should sign up and tempt fate?…. we need all the help we can get.

    • Tom_in_So_IL says:

      2 of 3 weeks vacation. My coworkers think I’ve lost my friggin mind. Yes, I took my vacation to WATCH the world Cup.

  8. nickp91 says:

    Surprised that ABC isn’t airing the Sunday 6/22 US vs Portugal match

    • bbstl says:

      At first, I thought that it would conflict with the NBA finals and ABC would go with the ratings, but the finals begin on 6/5, so they should be finished by the 22nd.
      I wouldn’t be suprised if they move it to ABC. There is nothing on TV in the summer on Sunday nights that the game would have to compete with.

  9. Increase0 says:

    I thought FIFA more or less mandated that the World Cup be broadcast. Maybe only Univision were takers. =/

    I’m dead serious btw. I thought they wanted it on broadcast maybe they just care about the final.

  10. Ed says:

    Disney owns both ABC and ESPN.

  11. UclaBruinGreat says:

    Rule number 1 for a soccer fan in the United States: learn spanish. When it comes to soccer, Latinos are into soccer much more than your average “white” American, and along those same lines the spanish language channels cover the sport better than the english language channels do. Plus, anyone that can speak both languages will tell you that the worst spanish language commentator is faaar better than the best english language commentator. You don’t need cable for Univision and Telemundo. For Uefa champions league, the arsenal-bayern game was on some cable channel hardly anyone has, but almost all cable suscribers have fox deportes so it was available to spanish speakers. Same for upcoming Galaxy vs Tijuana game. The home and away are on Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Sports 2; two premium channels that not everyone can get even if they wanted to pay the extra money. In spanish they are on Galavision (basic cable).

      • Helium-3 says:

        +1 Yep, remember watching the Mexican League and following guys like Balboa, Waldo, Ramos, and Sorber before MLS was started.

    • Increase0 says:

      I learned German. This doesn’t help. Mistakes were made.

    • Elber Galarga says:

      Si señor, this is true. Nomas, they are too bias.

    • Justin El Matador says:

      Sorry, my comment at the bottom was meant as a response to this one.

    • David M says:

      I used to enjoy watching games on Univision with Andres Cantor commentating even though I don’t speak Spanish. However, in 2002 when Cantor was doing play-by-play in English for the Olympic football tournament, I was hugely disappointed. Granted, it must be very difficult to do play-by-play not in your native language, but he was making so many mistakes and uttering so many banalities.

      • Dirk McQuigley says:

        There were NO Summer Olympics in 2002. You either mean 2000 or 2004. And I do seem to remember Cantor on one of the NBC channels broadcasting the US soccer games.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I used to do this but my Spanish is marginal at best and the English language broadcast has improved enough that I’d rather understand everything that’s being said than have the greater excitement and enthusiasm of the Spanish language broadcast.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Philip “El Cordero” Lahm

  12. beto says:

    Enjoy this WC and its 17:30 start times!

    Next two will be in early morning time spots.

  13. Elber Galarga says:

    Why isnt ESPN airing any MLS games at the start of season. Is their a quota on the number of games they air a season?

  14. Dingleberrh says:

    I think it’s a good thing that these games are broadcast on ESPN. Every single bar I’ve ever been too has ESPN on 24/7, not ABC. ESPN is the most viewed sports channel in the US so it’s a no brainer. I can’t believe there are people upset about this because they don’t have cable. Get off you lazy asses and get cable its 2014 folks, ya’ll are 20 years late. I don’t understand how anybody can be a soccer nut and not have cable TV..just doesn’t make sense.

  15. THomas says:

    Just realized that’s a pretty huge break between games 1 and 2. I’m sure that’s a good thing tho.

  16. Justin El Matador says:

    Estoy de acuerdo que esto seria verdad en la mayoria de casos, pero ojala que tendremos a Ian Darke en nuestro lado, quien se puede hacer emocionante un juego de Curling si fue inclinado a comentar en ello!!

  17. Don the Jewler says:

    Does FRANK have cable? Will he be able to watch Jurgen and guys play?

  18. Bumby Hemmingway says:

    Are the times listed Eastern Timezone?

  19. the original jb says:

    Are those game times in BRazilian local time or US Eastern or what?

  20. kim pham says:

    We will be in Brazil from June 12 to June 24 in Belo Horizonte and Curitiba. Too bad, when we picked the cities to stay last year, We had no idea where the U.S would stay. Its OK, we will support them on TV .

  21. Ethan says:

    Ives, let’s get a petition going. Let’s contact ESPN. I hate this for American soccer. All Americans should have a chance to see these games. For American soccer to grow, it is important that all Americans have access to the World Cup. So, let’s write ESPN and tell them how we feel.

    link to r.espn.go.com

  22. Ethan says:

    Above is a link to leave ESPN a comment

  23. Jacknut says:

    Wow, this is the worst possible draw from a TV perspective. No good weekend games save Germany vs. Ghana (during the NBA finals) and a lot of games falling during local news times, so no USA on ABC.

  24. MLS highlights on Sportscenter? (only if LeBron/Kobe/Johnny_Football approve) says:

    This is a 100% business decision. The Mothership knows that airing all of the USA games on ESPN will pull huge ratings (especially for the sought-after 18-45 male demographic) which will drive up ad rates and keep them from having to cry to the cable companies for more money. Do you know that every $5 of your cable bill goes directly to ESPN? A majority of the ABC/Disney annual profits are generated by ESPN. Why would they move these games to ABC (free over the air broadcast)?

  25. Tom_in_So_IL says:

    I expected this.