Why We Won’t Be Watching the Algarve Cup in 2012

Hello fellow USWNT fans,

There has been a great deal of activity surrounding the effort to get the U.S. Women’s games broadcast for the Algarve Cup, and I’ll admit, when I first heard that the Algarve Cup wouldn’t be streamed for U.S. fans, I was pretty miffed, to say the least. Especially in light of the World Cup last summer and the exponential increase in publicity the team has received since then. As many of you may know, the Algarve Cup is one of the most prestigious women’s soccer tournaments in the world and exhibits an incredible amount of international talent. Not to mention this will be the first time the U.S. will see Japan since the World Cup final – those facts alone make it worth broadcasting in my opinion. Anyway, because of indirect, misleading and mostly zero responses from the official entities involved, plus a great deal of speculation and misunderstanding of how the whole process works, there has been a ton of confusion about this whole ordeal.

So, I started doing something about it. I went digging for sources inside the big sports networks, inside U.S. Soccer, and even started contacting people in the Portuguese Futbol Federation (FPF) for information. My first inquiry into U.S. Soccer received the response that the venues were too small to air the games by either broadcast or streaming, and I think quite a few people got the same response. When I contacted Portuguese Women’s Futbol, a very kind lady within the organization told me that the Portuguese National Television (RTP) announced on February 15th that they had decided to broadcast the Portuguese team’s games. This was great news all around. For one, it was a milestone for the Portuguese Women’s National Team as this will be the first year their matches in the Algarve Cup will be broadcast and two, it meant that it was possible to broadcast the games.

Soon after RTP announced that they would be broadcasting, Japanese TV announced that they would be airing the Japanese Women’s National Team games in the Algarve Cup. This was even better news because it sent the message that foreign teams could manage to have their games broadcast as well.

In light of this news I re-contacted U.S. Soccer, who then told me that it wasn’t so much the issue of small venues as it was the issue that the FPF held exclusive broadcasting rights to the matches, and if I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure that many who inquired around the same time got that altered response as well. After I got this information, I contacted the FPF directly, looking for someone to talk to about it. I managed to find the email of one of their press officers who gave me the email of the marketing director. The marketing director very kindly responded to my inquiries and explained a few details. He said that no American broadcaster/company of any sort had asked FPF for the rights to air the games, as Japanese TV, RTP and one potential other entity had. He also explained that for an American company to be allowed to air the games by either streaming or broadcast, they would have to have an announcer/journalist and cameraperson running the operation, and that they would have to set up in a location designated by the FPF. The deadline for registering a journalist and cameraperson is Feb. 28, and the deadline to purchase the rights for the game is Feb. 29. The rights cost 10,000 Euros, or about $15,000 U.S. (For the 2013 Algarve Cup, the broadcast rights fee has increased considerably. The $15,000 U.S. figure is nowhere near the 2013 figure.)

Feb. 28 Edit – Looks like Eurosport went through with the bid for rights and will be live-airing the Sweden v. Germany game at 11:30 a.m. ET on March 5 as well as the final at 1:00 p.m. ET on March 7.

Upon receiving this bit of information, I went back to U.S. Soccer to ask a new set of questions. Within the last response that U.S. Soccer had sent me was a phone number for one of their communications managers. I called him up and asked him to walk me through why U.S. Soccer wasn’t asking for rights to broadcast/stream the matches. He patiently explained to me that as a non-profit, U.S. Soccer doesn’t have a particularly large budget to designate to acquiring rights to games for any one of their teams. Be it the U.S. Men’s Team, or one of the U-23 teams, the money just isn’t there because the funds they do have, they put into player development and sending the teams to places like the Algarve Cup – which is by no means an inexpensive feat, the operation costs enormous amounts of money as it is.

He explained that to send a broadcast crew to Portugal would involve flying around a 6-ish-person team plus all of their equipment and tools to set up a network that could upload the stream. The stadiums that the Algarve Cup is played in aren’t necessarily all that small, but they are outdated and ill-equipped to accommodate camera equipment and all of the cables, cords and network gear that is required to either broadcast or stream a game, he said. To pull this off, they would most likely also have to set up scaffolding within the stadium as a camera platform as well as establish a streaming connection, all of which adds to the money being spent. Add all of those expenses to the $15,000 rights fee.

He did, however say that they have the ability to record the games, which is not always allowed in international matches, a small victory in itself. The recording still takes a decent amount of peoplepower, but not nearly as much as it would to get a broadcast/stream set up. They will be posting videos of the game highlights as soon as they clear the editing bay. Also, with recording the games instead of live airing them, the rights fee does not have to be paid.

The communications manager said that all in all, U.S. Soccer just doesn’t have the resources to spend on airing these games, but that doesn’t mean another entity couldn’t do the same, such as ESPN, Fox Soccer or NBC Sports. These networks obviously have to consider the schedule they already have, plus the factor of actual viewership the games will attract as there is a 6-hour time difference between Central Time and Portuguese time, which is 5 hours for the East Coast and 8 hours for the West Coast. Not to mention that they would also have to fly out the broadcast team, set up a network connection and pay the rights fee, just as U.S. Soccer would have to.

All of that being said, these entities (ESPN, NBC, etc.) are used to this rodeo and it can’t be all that unfamiliar to them. I’m sure this sort of thing happens every time they wish to broadcast/stream/air a game. The only difference here is that as far as the Algarve Cup is concerned, the stadiums would be very difficult to be broadcast out of, but as I just mentioned, I’m sure they could deal with it.

In order to avoid sucking myself into a scathing commentary on how sports media treats women’s professional sports, I will leave it here, also because this is the point to which I have reached on my quest for information. I am hoping for a contact or two within the big sports networks to see if I can get an honest answer out of them as to why they never went for the rights, but as the deadline the FPF set for registering a team to go to the Algarve is Tuesday, getting anything to happen is a long shot at this point.

Feb. 28 Edit #2 – I got ahold of a PR guy inside ESPN, who informed me that the decision to not broadcast the Algarve Cup was influenced by a number of factors, of which he mentioned the fact that it is tournament season for NCAA Basketball. This, in fact does take up a large number of slots ESPN has available during the day and also commands a decent amount of the country’s collective sports attention so I understand that. He also made a note of the time difference being a factor. Personally, I don’t think the time difference is a big deal because games one and two would have been  live at 12:00 p.m. ET and 10:00 a.m. ET, respectively. Those times of the day aren’t all that hard to be awake for. When I brought up the fact that ESPN3 was airing the USMNT game versus Italy on Feb. 29, which is during NCAA Basketball tournament season, he said that was because that the match had been scheduled pretty far in advance and wasn’t too difficult to arrange. By ‘not too difficult,’ I’m assuming he was referencing the aforementioned difficulties that would arise with the Algarve stadiums. I deemed it foolish to continue arguing the point that the women’s matches had been scheduled weeks in advance as well, because I’m sure he could have given me endless reasons why the games weren’t picked up by ESPN and I was tired of the corporate reasoning. Regardless, this is all a moot point, considering that the deadline to register a journalist/cameraperson team to cover the games is today.

I will say this – ESPN is airing the April 1st and April 3rd USWNT matches versus Brazil and Japan in the Women’s Kirin Challenge Cup, which is awesome, and many thanks to them for that. ESPNW also does a pretty commendable job of covering the players out and about, getting interviews and generally keeping track of the team’s expeditions.

U.S. Soccer also does a wonderful job keeping everyone updated with a fairly steady stream of videos, not only of the game highlights, but also some extremely entertaining videos that show everyone the player’s personalities. These videos, however, are not live matches, which is what we want to see.

Please understand that I didn’t write this to vilify anyone. Not ESPN, not NBC, FPF or Fox Soccer and especially not U.S. Soccer. I wrote it to clarify the situation surrounding why the Algarve Cup will most likely not be broadcast in the States. They all have their own reasons for making the decisions they did, and even though I don’t like those decisions, I don’t know the whole story.

It might be too late to get a network to air the 2012 Algarve Cup, but it would send a real message if a number of people reached out to ESPN and NBC Sports, letting them know that fans want to see more of the USWNT on television.

(A real effort is being made to air the 2013 Algarve Cup by the UK-based Al Bann Media. They have acquired the rights and hope to broadcast the games on a delay via online streaming. They originally had an investor lined up to cover cost, but when a certain amount of visible online support – set by the investor – was not met, the investor backed out of the deal. Since then, Al Bann has been exploring every avenue possible to fund their broadcast and as a last resort is fund-raising via Kickstarter. If you would like to help get the USWNT games at the 2013 Algarve Cup broadcast, consider donating to the cause. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/459016368/watch-the-uswnt-at-the-2013-algarve-cup)

Also – if anyone can find a link to where Japanese TV is streaming, that could at least be a way we can watch the U.S./Japan game.

March. 3 Edit – If I am not mistaken, justin.tv will have the stream from Japanese Television for the USWNT v. JapanWNT match on March 5 at 9:10 a.m. ET. They had the stream for the Japan v. Denmark and Japan v. Norway games and I am hoping the same applies on Monday.

Cheers,
Haley

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58 thoughts on “Why We Won’t Be Watching the Algarve Cup in 2012

  1. thanks for all the work you put into this, and for sharing the info you got with us…really appreciate your efforts in order to get to these informations and to clarify this situation a bit to USWNT fans all over the world

  2. thanks for this. The answers you’ve obtained all seem reasonable, or make sense to me. One thing that U.S. Soccer or maybe a network might consider for a tournament like this in the future, is to sell online subscriptions to the matches. I know that I would be willing to pay for a package of all USA matches at the Algarve. The alternative, which might be even cheaper, is for US Soccer to post recordings of full matches online (say, within a day or two of the matches), with an even lower subscription rate (they would not owe the $15,000 rights fee, if the matches are not shown live). After all, as you point out, somebody does record all the USA matches anyway, so it is not as though the recordings aren’t made already for all the matches. So, they should consider selling the recordings online for $5 per match or something. Maybe they get several thousand sold per match, I don’t know. Perhaps I’m missing something. Maybe they are worried about fans copying and posting the matches for free someplace online.

    Anyway, thanks for the information. It demonstrates that there are many factors at play, beyond simply the level of fan interest, or US Soccer’s interest in showing the matches.

  3. Kudos to you for all your efforts on behalf of fans everywhere.

    The glaring question this brings up, to me; why isn’t US Soccer just upfront with fans who inquire about airing/streaming games? Do they think fans aren’t smart enough to understand the answers? It really doesn’t sound that complicated to me.

    Second question, not quite as glaring; could US Soccer set up a pay-per-view or subscription service to stream games, much like selling tickets to live venues? Getting 20,000 people into a venue is a lot harder than getting 20,000 viewers online, and profit could go back into the ‘broadcasting’ fund.

    Third question; could individuals or organizations donate to a dedicated broadcasting fund run by US Soccer?

    I don’t expect you to answer these questions, you have done a wonderful job getting answers to the Algarve Cup question. If you wanted to share your contact(s) at US Soccer though, that would be a start.

    I will certainly take your suggestion and contact both ESPN and NBC Sports.

    Again, thanks for all you’ve done!

    • Thanks so much for reading!

      To answer Diane’s questions:
      I’m not sure as to why U.S. Soccer was so indirect about their initial responses to fans. I think it would have been better for them and for us if they had just written a blog entry explaining why they wouldn’t be doing it. It would have saved me a lot of time anyway.

      You bring up a good point about online viewership versus game attendance, and the idea of some sort of a paid subscription system has been brought up to me a few times since I began sharing my findings. I for one think it’s a great idea, and I plan on drafting a proposal, suggesting that this sort of system or program be implemented by U.S. Soccer, and sending it to my contact there.

      As for releasing my sources, I am hesitant to do that. Because as much good as it could bring by people who have legitimate suggestions and insight into the topic of broadcasting more games, I am sure that there would also be a lot of hateful spam sent their way, which I have no intention of facilitating.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read through!
      Haley

      • I fully understand your hesitance to release sources, thought it was worth a try. Sadly, you are probably right about the unkind remarks.

        Good luck with your proposal.

        A discussion about this very subject is taking place on Two Touch Pass:

        http://twotouchpass.wordpress.com/

        I invite you to check it out. I have some ideas of my own.

      • Thank you for your search for answers. This is such a bias towards men’s sports; I find it very frustrating.

  4. Firstly, thank you for going to so much trouble. I don’t know if you ever watch tennis or tennis matches outside of Grand Slam events? What happens when there is an ATP or WTA tournament you can get the live feed from the local network. Like the representative for US soccer says there are distribution rights to pay which has always existed. With the tennis coverage, they (i.e. Tennis Channel, Eurosport etc.) don’t send their commentators to the actual venue for example Dubai, they usually work from a studio in L.A or London. Naturally when it comes to coverage at Wimbledon, Roland Garros or the Australian Open they do invest in onsite facilities. You never see the commies, you might have an on-court interview but the tournament pay for compare’s, usually ex-players to promote the tournament.

  5. Thanks for the work and effort to post this, Haley. I hope all the passionate fans out there take the time to read this and get a better understanding of all that goes into producing live streams. As someone who works on the technical side of things, there are very real considerations as to why streams don’t always happen.

    Broadcasting rights are expensive. It’s usually a per-game cost. And I’m not clear based on your description if the $15,000 quoted by the FPF is for the entire package of USWNT games or per game. By FIFA standards, however, that dollar number is very reasonable. (Also, I would very much like to see a connected stream and not one via Wi-Fi for a lot of reasons.)

    Diane has brought up some great questions and suggestions. I will point out that, in general, 20,000 online viewers does not equal 20,000 people in attendance in terms of money. Before broadcasting deals became the norm, the Lakers, for example, would threaten to black out home games if the games weren’t sold out. The stream fee would have to factor in the potential lost revenue for parking, concessions, team merchandise, and so on, and could very well end up being prohibitive for most fans. Advertisers, sponsors, and owners want people in the seats. Budweiser is a sponsor of US Soccer, for instance, and it would much rather have potential customers in attendance (given the stadium has a contract with Budweiser) than at home. Haley, please consider these factors in your proposal as well as how best to maybe compensate with online advertising.

    Rather than a subscription, perhaps a per-game fee to watch might be better? I’m thinking longer term. The USWNT is going into off years – no major women’s tournaments – for 2013 and 2014, so it will be mostly friendlies in addition to the Algarve Cup.

    Again, really impressed with this post as well as the comments. Awareness and understanding of the underlying issues will only help the fan base work to a solution. It’s a great start to get fans talking and sharing ideas.

    Happy to be a part of it and continue the discussion.

    Cheers!

  6. Thank you so much for the great info! Awesome sleuthing. Way to pursue this and demand some answers!

    It’s disheartening… our first matchup against Japan is surely worth the effort to bring such an awesome display of gamesmanship to fans. It still is befuddling to me that the men’s team gets more coverage, when the women’s team is so much better and seems to have much more dedicated fans. Sigh.

    If anyone does know anyone in Japan who could record a good quality copy of the entire match and share it with us desperate USA fans, that would be amazing. I, however, don’t know anyone in Japan.

  7. Thank you so much for real information.

    I don’t understand why USSOCCER is so obtuse about this. I have contacted them several times and never got a real response. Congratulations to you for finding the truth.

    Why, why, why, why can Japan afford the $15000, but USSoccer can’t?

    Very discouraging. So much of USSOCCER’s focus is all on the men. TV broadcasts are at least 85% male. And the USWNT has always been one of the best in the world.

    They want fans, and then won’t even show their games on TV. They farm those players out to every kind of PR stunt, DWTS, etc., but still won’t show the GAMES on TV.

    Unfair.

    • My guess is that Japan has an ESPN-type entity willing to pay for it. I doubt it is the Japanese soccer federation doing it. They won the World Cup and can convince someone to broadcast their games due to ROI.

  8. PS I would contribute $100 to an online stream. Or even just a recording of every game.

    Oh well, soon enough we will be able to pay the sharks for video copies of games. Too bad our own soccer federation can’t pay the USWNT the respect of $15000.

    Japan does.

  9. Just a thought, but with Japan being the WWC champions, that may have something to do with them broadcasting their games. Isn’t there a monetary award that goes along with the championship? If that is so, it might have given them the extra budget to broadcast.

  10. Oh shoot, there are no excuses. We should be televising the USWNT games!

    Do we expect the USWNT to win the Olympics? Yes.
    Do we expect USWNT to win the Algarve cup? Yes.

    Why aren’t they worth $15000 worth of TV coverage?

  11. Haley, save the proposal & build a business instead. If you can put all this elbow grease into getting the truth from US Soccer, you have what it takes to fill the gap. Build a soccer webcasting business. Don’t wait. There are u17, u20 & u23 tournaments and friendlies that could be included in your service. Oh and I guess you could film the boys too. There are no “slow periods” in international soccer.

    Whatever you would put into a proposal should be the outline of your business plan. Present it to potential investors who might see the revenue potential in a solid business model and can open doors to sponsors & the technology to do it right.

    Don’t write a proposal. Map out a plan towards wealth, prosperity & growth of the game. You’ll be a 30 under 30 Business Woman of the Year for it. Not that should be the reason you do it. But you’ve understood several of the snagging points and now you’ve heard from the paying customers.

    For the record, I too would pay $100 for a package to watch my beloved Canadians play. They will be at Cyprus Cup during the same time period– playing against France, England, New Zealand and others. There’s revenue to be generated from the women’s game. You just found a pocket. You don’t have to know how to operate a camera to make this run effectively. You have to be willing to lead. You’ve already shown you can do that.

    America was built on Carnegies, Rockefellers, and others who weren’t afraid to lead. Maybe it’s your turn. These aren’t platitudes. It’s a challenge + a call to action. The gauntlet has been thrown. What are you gonna do?

    peace,
    Ingrid
    ps. call me.

  12. The $15,000 fee is just for the rights alone. You’re forgetting the expense of transporting a crew of 6 people and loads of equipment round trip, and setting up numerous functional items on location, as Haley outlined. Not to mention accommodations and salaries for those people. From the few years I spent working in TV I would estimate the total cost is probably more like $35,000 per game (and that’s not including announcers).

    • There are talented camera crew living all around the world. American talent is the only option. Build the int’l community and it’s most likely you won’t have to pay a local crew as much. No airfare cost. No accommodations cost. Etc.

    • You’re right, Marie. And that $15,000 per game can very well be $25,000 depending on how much the owner of the rights wants to charge. Very real money for soccer federations to consider. Must work to find a balance with budgets.

  13. It’s all about finding a broadcasting tv channel willing to pay the dollars with a return on investment basically. For us living in Europe, Eurosport used to broadcast Algarve Cup games a few years ago then stopped. Back in 2009, they attempted to buy the right for the Cyprus Cup, but the fee was deemed prohibitive (this info comes from someone well placed in a football federation).

    This year the French tv channel Direct 8 that has bought the right for the home and away Euro qualifiers + friendlies has decided to pay that fee and will broadcast 3 out of 4 France games over there. This is due to the fact that they get enough viewers on a regular basis for the France WNT to generate sufficient money via commercials.

    I went to our away games in Ireland and Wales where that channel broadcast the games live and they did use local crew and materiel to save money, they just flew the producer the two people doing commentary and couple of technical crew.

  14. Thanks so much everyone for the feedback. So many thoughtful answers, suggestions and additional questions to look into. I am so honored that you guys took the time to really invest in this issue.

    By the suggestions of a few and some guidance by others, I am beginning to work on a solution to the lack of air time the USWNT gets. I will post when I come up with something solid, and I hope you guys can provide feedback again when that happens.

    Thank you again everyone, I am thrilled this information is getting out there.

  15. Great idea, Ingrid. Start a business. Get investors / subscribers. Hire local talent. Webstream the games. It could work.

    I think that commercial television underestimates the potential USWNT viewership. There is an opportunity here to make money.

  16. One other point – as far as expenses for professional broadcasting technicians to fly around the world, let’s think of the quality of the webstream from Frisco a few weeks ago. Nothing professional about that. We could surely outperform that level of quality with kids attending video classes at local universities.

    • Sorry you had to go through that. Your conversation sounds eerily like my email exchange with ESPN. For every one reason you have for them to air the games, they have 3 reasons why they can’t. Do they think we don’t notice that NCAA basketball is not the only sport they air? Sorry for the snark, they just push my buttons. Don’t get me started that you can’t customize your “espn account” with women’s sports, other than WNBA & NCAA women’s bball. In this case the adage “if you want it done right, do it yourself” may apply.

      • That exact phrase has been going through my head since I really began processing this information. And, I agree with you that the NCAA excuse seems a bit… overstated. ESPNU has been airing hours worth of college gymnastics and jazz dance competitions lately. Why not switch the daily college basketball games to ESPNU and only have them occupy the main channel during big March Madness games?

        About the account customization – I am absolutely on the same page. When I first was ‘listing my favorite teams’ or whatever the feature is, I very nearly cancelled the account because of the lack of women’s sports. They also still have Sporting KC listed as the Wizards, which drives me crazy, but that is a side issue.

        All in all, there IS a solution to have it both ways in my opinion – i.e. maintain the programming they have plus air the Algarve Cup. The powers that be just seem to not want to expend the effort and money it would take. Quite a shame, really.

  17. I really hope espnW gets their channel up and running. I have not had a very friendly user experience with espn. I do understand I am not their major demographic, but I also don’t want to be ignored or patronized.

    I look forward to more good news from your side.

  18. Wow, Haley, thank you for educating us on the rigmarole involved in the broadcasting/streaming process, and highlighting the reasons why we won’t be able to view any of the USWNT games live….I will refrain from commenting why I think some network decision-makers can bite me.

    Good luck ladies, looking forward to bringing home another Algarve Cup–and possibly getting revenge on Japan for the WC loss :) Would love to beat Germany too!!

  19. Hi Haley, thanks so much for your persistent and tireless effort to find out what is going on re the absence of broadcasting of these games. I went through many web pages on ESPN, Fox Soccer, NBC etc in search of TV schedule before I finally arrived at yours. I am fan of both USWNT and Japan’s Nadeshiko, being a longtime resident of USA who started my interest in USWNT since Mia Hahn’s era and originally from Japan. I will try to see if I find anything that can be streamed from Japanese webcast etc. But please do not hold your breath since I am not very technically versed in it. Will let you know here if I find anything promising.

  20. Has anyone tracked down a kind soccer fan in Japan who might record, rip and upload the game for all of us to watch? I want to see it so freaking bad, but I don’t know anyone in Japan and I don’t know Japanese to ask strangers online. Haha.

  21. Haley,

    Just saw you post this link on FB somewhere and, while my interest in the USWNT is rather minimal, just wanted to let you know that it was an awesome piece. Extremely well written and researched, and your progression from question to answer to question and so on was outstanding making it supremely easy to read, even for someone like me who had never heard of Algarve Cup or most of the other USWNT-related entities mentioned.

    I’m extremely impressed. Getting ready to peruse your blog and see what else you have to offer.

    Hope you’re doing well!

    Cory

    • Cory,

      Thanks! I’m glad you got a chance to see it, and I’m glad you like it. The USWNT is in a three-way tie for my all-time favorite sports team with the Jayhawks and Sporting KC, so I tend to pay quite a bit of attention to them.

      Unfortunately, as you may have discovered, my blog doesn’t have much more to offer since I’m more of an absorber than a distributer of information on personal topics, however in this case I was compelled to spread the message far and wide because of how infuriating I find the situation. I do, however write a lot for the K-State Collegian if you ever find yourself around that website (and I don’t blame you if you never do, there is a lot of purple there and as a Jayhawk fan, I am sure that like me, you are genetically predisposed to a violent allergic reaction when purple is around).

      Anyway, I hope you’re doing well up at school, and if you have any pieces out and about I’d love to read them!

      Take care,
      Haley

  22. Haley… ty for the research ! I was going nuts trying to figure out why the women weren’t on tv- and like you pointed out the MNT was on the other day on ESPN2…

  23. Hello everyone,

    I writing from Portugal, more precisely from the Algarve region.
    I live 2 minutes from one of the stadiums used in Algarve Cup this year, it’s called Estádio Municipal da Bela Vista, Parchal and it’s only about three years old.
    Google it and you’ll find some photos.

    I went there on the first and second day of the tournament (today) and on both ocasions Japan played. The Japanese alone packed the stadium with reporters and logistics staff so they could broadcast their games live.
    Have a look –> http://www.gpintophotography.com/algarve-cup.html

    Outside the stadium were two broadcasting vans with the large emitter dish on top, one was for the Japanese, the other I presume were for Swedish or for Eurosport.
    Lots and lots of electrical and electronic wires were laid all trough the stairs and stands up until the huge cameras they had closed to the green pitch.
    There is also two enormous logistics trucks stationed there for all the event.

    Has for the other 4 stadiums they are almost all of them pretty small, only Estádio Algarve is big and well equipped enough to make tv’s life easier. It was one the stadiums used in Euro Championship Cup 2004.

    As for Portugal’s national team, only this year did our national television decided to broadcast them live, but that only happened today. For the first game last Wednesday they suddenly decided not to air their game live and only show the recorded game at 2:00am…
    Our women players suffer to be seen locally and our women national championship is very poor and ill publicized.
    Fortunately for our national players, they are almost all playing abroad, including in the U.S:
    – Andrea Rodrigues, University Central Florida
    – Kimberly Brandão, WNY Flash
    – Laura Luis, UTB/TSC

    Gabriel

    • Thanks for the on-the-ground coverage Gabriel! I really appreciate the insiders look into the games. I will echo your sentiments about the women’s teams being ill publicized in Portugal by saying that the U.S. team is also poorly represented in the States, which is one of the reasons why I wrote this post. I’m looking for a way to turn the collective attention of sports media a little more towards women’s soccer. Hopefully, if more attention is paid to the sport in general, more teams across the globe will get adequate recognition for the dedication they pour into the game.

      Thanks again for all of the photos and insight you have been providing for the U.S. fans. I feel I can speak on behalf of all of us when I say we appreciate it a lot.

      Keep the updates coming!
      Haley

    • I want to reinforce what Haley said, thank you! Every bit of insight we can get about the experience our team is having makes us that much more invested. Your description and photos of the Japan media coverage are great. And thank you for explaining the set-up of equipment and cables.

      I hope that in the future, women’s football all over the world gets the attention it deserves. -Diane

  24. Thanks for all your work Haley.

    Did usssoccer explain why they are only showing highlights of the full games that they recorded?

    It kills me not to see the games live, but I’d settle for delayed (especially considering the logistics).

    One thing that puzzles me, we (ussoccer) can’t send a full team to record the event, too expensive, right? Well, how about partnering with Japan or Eurosport to see their coverage here? Who cares if we can’t understand the announcers? Again, delayed would be fine. Also, they could get revenue from us that helps offset their broadcast costs.

    And, there isn’t a deadline for partnering.

    Finally my prediction: USA 4 JPN 1 — sweet revenge!!!

    • I hadn’t thought of a partnership, but if they decided to go that route, U.S. Soccer would most likely still have to pay the rights fee because they are considered ‘distribution’ rights. Since the games would be actively being distributed to a larger audience, U.S. Soccer couldn’t simply piggyback off of the rights Japanese TV paid for, or even if they split it. I doubt the FPF would allow that. Also, since the Japanese crew would be doing all of the legwork, I’m sure U.S. Soccer would need to pay them a fee as well for providing the stream. Good thought though.

      As for why they only post highlights – same thing applies. In order to upload the whole games, they would have to purchase the distribution/broadcast rights. My guy at U.S. Soccer said that because of this, they can only post highlights. I’m assuming that FPF set a time limit on what they’re allowed to post.

      I too, would be just fine with watching a delayed video of the full match, but that can’t happen unless the rights are purchased. If you want to follow the game on MatchTracker, it is nowhere near the same as watching a live match, but they do a darn good job of keeping up a consistent play by play. Whoever runs it is pretty hilarious as well, very candid.

      Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. If you’re looking for somewhere to watch the Japan v. USWNT game on Monday, I’m pretty sure justin.tv will have the stream, but I’m not 100% on that.

      • Hi Haley,

        Thanks for clarifying the rights issue; your reply was much more thoughtful than my rant.

        And, thanks for the tip on justin.tv Does justin.tv “archive” their broadcasts?

        I wish I could take off work to see the game, too late now. If I knew ahead of time (if some network/streamer had scheduled carrying the game), I would have taken time off.

        I’ve got a sickness and it’s addiction to USWNT ;)

        I can’t believe that ESPN or NBC Sports didn’t see an opportunity to piggyback on the interest in 2011 WWC — FIRST RE-MATCH between JPN/USA, grudge match, revenge match, ARGHHHHH!!!!!! :(

      • Yeah, I like the matchtracker “guy” too–I’ll be monitoiring that at work– GO USA!!!

  25. If FPF were smart, their deal with Japan or Eurosport would allow any of them to market the delayed games with all parties splitting the revenue.

    • Hey Nick,

      Thanks for the link.

      Watched the game non-live — trying to be objective, think the USA outplayed Japan the whole game, just didn’t finish their chances.

  26. Haley,

    Were you able to see the game? I had to get an Access Code for the link that Nick gave.

    Now I need a link for vs Sweden :)

    I’m bummed, but feel like we were the better team, just unlucky.

    Can’t wait for the rematch April 1st.

    BTW, did you see that epic goal by Julie Johnston (U-20) against Guatemala? Ussoccer has the highlights.

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  31. “Especially in light of the World Cup last summer and the exponential increase in publicity the team has received since then.”

    Surely you mean The Olympics, not the “World Cup.”

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