Saturday, April 18, 2009

On free TV

I spent a few solitary moments last Saturday watching the Whitecaps game, for free, on USL live.

The game itself, a 0-0 draw, was nothing to get too excited about. Sure, Marcus Haber and some of the other young Canadian talent looked pretty good for Vancouver. There were a few good displays from the support in the South Side.

But for the most part, it was fairly typical of a second division soccer match, no matter what part of the world you're in.

This isn't an ode to the USL, or even the Whitecaps, my adopted (North American) pro team for 2009. Rather, I want to sing the praises of the excellent, and free, USL live internet streaming video.

OK, so it's not that excellent. I rather enjoyed the broadcasters of the Whitecaps match as they kept a more even keel with less verbal tomfoolery than Nigel Reed usually employs in a typical TFC broadcast. But the quality of play-by-play and commentary varies significantly, as the feeds for these streams are local.

The quality of the video, however, was quite good. On my machine, at least, it looked a lot better than the CBCSports.ca streams of CONCACAF Champions League soccer and other live events. Because replay facilities and fancy graphics were largely lacking, we didn't miss important match events due to player close-ups or bios.

Remember when CFL broadcasts went lo-fi a few years back because of the CBC strike? Sometimes I wish all sports on television was like that.


All this is a roundabout way of saying that if you are so inclined, and don't have plans on a Saturday evening, you can catch both Canadian teams live tonight:
To supplement the experience, they'll be some kind of live chat going on at the Canadian Stretford End.

I may opt instead to watch NHL hockey with friends (Go Hawks!), but watching soccer is a good plan B.

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