NASL’s Web Of Fear Disappoints

The Caps got their first away game of the season under their belts this evening. It was far from a classic. It wasn’t even pulp fiction. A boring 0-0 draw with Miami, in a match that had little to excite, the Caps were left ruing Marlon James’ second half penalty miss as they had to be content with leaving Florida with just a point.

We’d hoped to do a match report of the game in the blog tonight, but that task was made pretty much impossible by the horrendous live webcast of the game, so if you want one, you can find it HERE on the official Caps site.

When the NASL announced on April 8th that all 180 USSF Division 2 games would be available to watch free on each Club’s website this season, we thought it was great news. If today’s broadcast was anything to go by then I honestly think I’d rather have nothing but post-match highlights to watch.

The Miami feed was pretty much unwatchable, buffering every 25 seconds or so, constantly stopping and starting the action. When you actually did get to watch a brief part of the game, it would then suddenly jump ahead of time to catch up to the live action – bizarrely usually when someone was just about to kick the ball or there was some kind of goalmouth action.

We originally were told that the problem was at Miami’s end, but fans looking to watch the other NASL games this evening were faced with the same problems and there were also buffering problems last week, although not nearly as bad as tonight.

Even if we had managed to get an uninterupted feed of the game, it would have been horrendous viewing anyway.

We won’t even begin to go into Miami’s unprofessional set up (we’ll save that for tomorrow!), but the whole feed had no commentary, no replays (which I can live with), no scoreboard on the screen and camerawork that appeared to be filmed by someone who has never actually seen a camera before in their life, never mind a football match.

It was like some kind of psychadelic trip at times. One particular fine mazy run by Caps sub Nizar Khalfan seemed like it was filmed from some amusement ride. It’s not exaggerating to say you felt seasick after watching parts of it.

The cameraperson seemed to have trouble following the ball. We had choppy pans, zooming in and out rapidly in the same move, numerous sky shots, headless players running with the ball and ball-less players who were at least running with a head. They even had people walking in front of the camera! I mean FFS!

My team in Scotland, East Fife, got brand new college students to film their games this season as part of their coursework and they did at least ten times the better job than the person filming tonight.

Whoever was responsible should be ashamed of themselves. Is this really what the USSF are proud to have their branding on, as was the case for the whole of the match that we could see?

Last year’s USL webcasts had their problems. A major one for me was that I had to keep watching it via Firefox as Internet Explorer and Vista just wasn’t a working combination for it on my laptop. The commentators ranged from the excellent to the clueless and some of the camerawork wasn’t the best. Compared to what we have this year it was worthy of an oscar.

This is a free service we know, but it’s not even worth that amount of money. They should be paying us to watch it. What we have now is regression, not progression surely not the image NASL are looking to project.

It was not only embarrassing to the League, it was also unacceptable and very damaging to the product and the game in North America. If the League are hoping to eventually promote themselves as a serious rival to the MLS then they need to get the basic things like this sorted out pronto.

What worries us as a group is that we are trying to grow the Southsiders this season. Trying to reach out to what will be the Whitecaps post MLS entry crowd now and get them on board with the current team. To show them how good it can be watching the team when it’s not “major league”.

Can you imagine organising a pub night to show an away game to a new and eager audience but then you are faced with this complete shambles? Try explaining to them that the problem is not at your end and that it’s not you that are shockingly disorganised.

This was easily the worst coverage of a football match I’ve ever seen in my entire football watching life. It was a fucking joke. Roll on the MLS indeed.

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Authored by: Michael McColl

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Jeremy at 14:35

    Hahaha great post. I was set to record the audio to the game, so very disappointed that there were no commentary… Very poor job.

    Just wait and see the quality of the Montreal home games production! It will definitely make up for that, if they take the feed of national television.

  2. Anonymous at 01:39

    ast year's USL webcasts had their problems. A major one for me was that I had to keep watching it via Firefox as Internet Explorer and Vista just wasn't a working combination for it on my laptop.
    ———————-

    I run Linux so when i found out that they were using so dumb ass video system and that was going to be the ONLY video site on the web I couldnt watch it, I installed a virtual copy of XP. Then when I fired up Firefox, it said I had to install some .exe file and i said EFF THIS.

    Seriously, there isnt a video site like Ustream, Justin.tv and others taht I cant watch, and I watched Impact and TFC webcasts on their sites as well the CBC/RC ones with no problem except the USL site. This of course didnt surprise me one bit.

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