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Report: Guatemala-USA World Cup qualifier only available on pay-per view

USA (Reuters Pictures)

U.S. men's national team fans will be able to watch next month's World Cup qualifier against Guatemala, but they'll have to fork over a decent chunk of change to do so.

According to the New York Times, the match will be only accessible on television in the United States on pay-per view only for $29.95 after Guatemala, the host country that contains the television rights for the June 12 match at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, was unable to come to a deal with any U.S. television outlets and instead sold the broadcast rights elsewhere instead. Those rights are being distributed domestically by Integrated Sports Media and Traffic Sports USA, with PPV being the route taken, according to the NYT report.

Future television rights for road matches during the qualifying campaign against Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda have not yet been allocated, and there is no guarantee that those games will be easily accessible on network television either. U.S. Soccer offers more insight to the qualifying rights situtation on its official website.

The national team's other upcoming matches are all available on cable networks in the United States, with next Saturday's match against Scotland and the June 3 match against Canada being broadcast in English by NBC Sports Network, the May 30 friendly against Brazil being broadcast by ESPN2 and the June 8 World Cup qualifier against Antigua and Barbuda being aired on ESPN. 

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  1. The larger point was illustrated by Dan Rather on Bill Maher last night: network and communication consolidation has led to the over-corporatization of entertainment, leading to the trivialization of content. Back in his day, the news was a “loss-leader”, meaning that even though the particular show didn’t make CBS money, the owner of the corporation saw it as an important public service that he provided. That guy knew that The Beverly Hillbillies would make up that revenue. Now, if Viacom sees the news as not driving profits; hey, time to fire a few producers and get someone in there that can get some revenue flowing.

    Kevin, unfortunately, not EVERYTHING has to be about free-market capitalism and generating revenue. Sometimes, even though they don’t owe us anything, business leaders can (and should) step up to do the right thing in the interest of journalism, or sport, or entertainment, or whatever. These days, they just choose not to, and their businesses will suffer in the long run for their myopic vision.


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