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watching soccer in america

The time is long past when American soccer fans could complain that there was nothing for them to watch on television. Just as an example, here's what I have available to me between now and the end of next weekend (only including live or same-day-delay):

One UEFA Champions League semi-final match
One UEFA Cup semi-final match
Seven Copa Libertadores matches
One CONCACAF Copa de Campeones final match
One league match from Argentina
Two league matches from Brazil
Two league matches from Colombia
Five English Premier League matches and an FA Cup semi-final match
One German Bundesliga match
Two Italian Serie A matches
Seven Mexican League matches and one second-division Mexican match
Two Spanish La Liga matches
Two MLS matches

This doesn't count pay-per-view matches, or matches on channels I don't get.

So these days, American soccer fans have plenty to watch. Except ... today was a crucial match between AC Milan and Barcelona, and guess what? The only channels it was on are unavailable through our Comcast.

Ah, but it's 2006. Enter the Internet. Which explains why I spent the last couple of hours watching television on my computer monitor. I watched the first half of the match on a Korean station, then at half time I switched to a Chinese station that was rumored to have a better picture. Outside of the players' names (and the team names), I didn't understand a word the announcers said (although a couple of half-time commercials had English in them), but I saw the entire match.

In 1976 I wouldn't have known the match was taking place. In 2006, I can watch it from stations halfway around the world.