Washington | National Geographic in June features soccer as its main story package with a website supplement, “The Beautiful Game: Why Soccer Rules the World.” On the Web, and likely in the print version as well, NG includes lengthy excerpts from the soon-to-be-released (in the USA) Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup (see Apr 7). [...]
Rio de Janeiro | “We expect the World Cup will surpass [Big Brother],” says Antonio Carlos Silveira of Globo.com, website of the media conglomerate, referring to the popular reality show’s Brazilian version. The site, having gained Brazilian broadcasting rights, will show all World Cup matches live. The cost to subscribers? Five dollars. The critical technology, [...]
Buenos Aires | Diego Maradona, promoting the Brazilian soft drink Guaraná Antarctica, has drawn the ire of Argentina supporters for wearing a Brazil jersey, even though the moment occurred during a television ad dream sequence. One blogger speculates that the reaction resembles what would have happened had Michael Jordan decided to wear a “CCCP” warm-up jersey during the [...]
Kuala Lumpur | The fantasy of discovering previously unknown talent—the fuel behind American Idol and a host of schlocky televised talent shows worldwide—has been adapted in Malaysia to football. Producers of MyTeam (short for Malay Team), a planned 12-part production on TV3 Malaysia, believe that their idea of fielding a side of amateur footballers drawn from Malaysia’s 13 states will help reinvigorate a moribund domestic game. They hope that the ragtag outfit, following a seven-week training camp, will show well and perhaps defeat the national team on 28 May.
Houston | Comments posted on a Houston Chronicle web log—all by English-speakers, mind you—ran strongly negative following the announcement earlier today that the Major League Soccer club would be called “Dynamo.” In a change of marketing strategies, club officials scratched “Houston 1836″ following protests that the name recalled the ugly secession of Texas from Mexico [...]
London | Some might object that Monty Python’s Personal Best, airing in six installments in February and March on the Public Broadcasting Service, merely provides another money-making rehash for the famed comedy troupe. But the installment hosted by Eric Idle at least offers the classic Python Olympiad, featuring the second-leg football final in Munich between [...]
New York | Despite the glowing reviews greeting the HBO documentary Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, the reality is that women’s sports still struggle to find a place in the U.S. marketplace, especially on TV, according to the Journal News of White Plains, New York. ESPN says that 70 to [...]
Zurich | FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren verified a Sunday report in Swiss paper SonntagsZeitung that police had seized documents from FIFA headquarters related to the bankruptcy in May 2001 of longtime FIFA marketing partner International Sport and Leisure. Journalist Andrew Jennings had noted the importance of this developing story in his Nov 9 presentation at the Play [...]
London | The glossy bimonthly with a limited but profligate demographic has hit the shelves: Icon, a magazine for rich footballers and their families. Jamie Redknapp, formerly of Liverpool and Tottenham, founded the publication with help from similarly well-heeled connections. In the inaugural issue, he talks to mate Les Ferdinand about the joys of piloting a [...]
Kolkata (Calcutta), India | Dating to 1893, the Indian Football Association Shield is one of the world’s oldest cup competitions. Administered by the sport’s governing body in West Bengal, the event that begins Thursday will feature what organizers claim is a first in world football: microphones on referees. IFA honorary secretary Subrata Dutta says that the [...]
Paris | Despite sports newspaper L’í‰quipe‘s ballyhooed investigations into Lance Armstrong‘s alleged doping, its bread and butter remains Les Bleus. When its reporting that Armstrong had submitted positive urine samples during the 1999 Tour de France appeared in August, circulation could not top the front-page announcement that Zinedine Zidane would return from international retirement. Nearly 83 [...]
New York | Among a gaggle of short essays in which Sports Illustrated writers tout candidates for the magazine’s annual Sportsman of the Year award, two support soccer players. Grant Wahl writes to recommend Israel’s and Bnei Sakhnin’s Abas Suan (see 15 Apr 05), who has used “his newfound stature in Israel’s Arab and Jewish communities [...]
Toronto | Blessings on the Toronto Star, which reminds us of Guy Caballero‘s rants on the Second City Television series of the 1970s and early ’80s.