With permission, Korean Footballers Abroad blog is allowing the Tavern to repost their weekend listings (thanks Skimmilk!). All are listed for the US EST. Do check out his blog, he has a nice summary of the Korean players abroad during the summer -and updates on the players who already started their season in Germany and the Championship in England. We are just about underway for the start of the Premier League and La Liga season – very excited -especially for football enthusiasts in the US as NBC and it’s subchannels will air EVERY single EPL match. More on that later – right now the Tavern owner is late picking up the kids (good Tavern owner…but bad parent).
Day Time (ET) Player Club Opponent TV/Stream
Saturday 9:30 AM Son Heung Min Bayer Leverkusen @Stuttgart None
Saturday 9:30 AM Park Joo Ho Mainz @Freiburg None
Saturday 9:30 AM Koo Ja Cheol Wolfsburg Schalke None
Saturday 10:00 AM Lee Chung Yong Bolton @N’ham Forest None
Saturday 10:00 AM Kim Bo Kyung Cardiff City @West Ham Utd Extra Time
Saturday 10:00 AM Yun Suk Young QPR Ipswich Town None
Saturday 10:00 AM Ji Dong Won Sunderland Fulham Extra Time
Saturday 12:45 PM Park Ji Sung PSV Eindhoven Go Ahead Eagles ESPN3.com
Saturday 12:30 PM Ki Sung Yueng Swansea City Manchester Utd NBC
*Sunday 3:00 PM Kang Min-Woo Vitoria Setubal FC Porto None
*Monday 3:55 PM Kim Young-Kiu Almeria Villareal BeInSport Espanol
*We added the last two.
On Sunday, One World Sports is airing K-League match Pusan vs. Ulsan 6 a.m. On Dish network and online streaming here.
Check this post for further updates later tonight from the Tavern’s outpost in the US.
Ok, first off, it’s a ‘pinch-me-I-can’t-believe-it’s-happening moment to realize Ki Sung-Yeung, if he’s scheduled to play – will be in crystal clear HD on NBC’s regular network. The potential for the entirety of the US of A to see Ki the playmaker and occasional goal scorer square off against none other than Manchester United — all I can say is it’s a good day to be alive.
Park Ji-Sung fans may have to multi-task as his return to PSV Einhoven will be streaming live on ESPN3 (check out the name of the other team -wow!)
Back up for a moment, earlier in the morning, both Kim Bo-Kyung and possibly Ji Dong-Won for Sunderland will be on the tele. But what is this EXTRA TIME channel? Here in the US, the Tavern owner may be as confused as the rest on how to watch that NBC subchannel. Let’s go to worldsoccertalk.com where Chris Harris gives the skinny (and for the moment, let’s codeswitch from football to soccer):
“Many soccer fans in the United States are still puzzled whether or not they’ll be able to access Premier League Extra Time, the overflow channel service where select TV providers will broadcast the games that are not being shown live on NBC or NBC Sports Network.
The reason for the puzzlement is because DirecTV, Bright House Networks, Cablevision’s Optimum and AT&T Uverse are the TV providers who have revealed where their Premier League Extra Time channels will reside.
The other TV providers who will offer the service haven’t communicated where soccer fans can find those overflow channels. Those TV providers are Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox, Mediacom, Suddenlink, and Time Warner Cable. Additionally, over 100 NCTC partners have either signed-on to the Premier League Extra Time package or have opted-in via TV Everywhere.”
“If there is a delay or confusion with Premier League Extra Time this weekend, the fact is that the majority of games this season will still be shown across NBC Sports Network and other NBC networks, so only four matches will be on the overflow channels. Those matches for the opening weekend are:
Norwich vs Everton, 10am, Premier League Extra Time
Sunderland vs Fulham, 10am, Premier League Extra Time
West Ham vs Cardiff, 10am, Premier League Extra Time
West Brom vs Southampton, 10am, Premier League Extra Time.
As an insurance policy, all 380 games this season are being shown live on the Internet via the NBC Sports Live Extra app.”
The catch: according the the New York Times‘ Richard Sondomir, “184 games that will be digitally streamed free on Premier League Extra Time will be accessible only to those who pay for cable, satellite or telephone company subscriptions that include (channel) NBCSN.”
It’s all bizness, yo. So if in the US, got the right cable company that airs NBCSN -to start streaming the games via NBC – start right here. To check if your cable provider has Live Extra, this handy site from NBC will check. If your provider doesn’t carry it now – there’s a good chance they will at a later date this season – NBC is offering to cable providers for free. They just have to find a channel to fit it in their lineup.
The $250 Million dollar gamble: NBC plunked it down for a 3 year deal, $80 Million this year, outbidding Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Soccer for rights to air all 380 English Premier League games this season. Does it make sense -especially when that other football – the brain injuring american version – is the “it” sport in the US? Public radio’s Marketplace explored the question briefly. You can listen in to their audio musings here.
At the Tavern, I’m waiting to see if this is a game changer in the American sports landscape. What will all this mainstream visibility do? Could it actually get the critical mass here in the US to care about soccer? If so, will it have any spillover benefit for the domestic MLS? In Korea, high ratings for Euro based matches featuring Koreans haven’t necessarily translated in significant gains for K-League matches. Then again, after witnessing One World Sports’ broadcast of K-League matches here in the US, the video production has been (sometimes) lame. The announcer is usually clueless on pronouncing the players names. Culturally clueless: he had no idea who Kim Yu-na was when she kicked the first ceremonial ball at a K-League game last spring. He sounds like he would like to be anywhere -but there. Sometimes there’s no graphics to indicate how much time is left, much less who the teams are and what the score is. Contrast that to the visual blast that NBC coordinates – they go the distance to try to capture the American public interest over to ‘the Beautiful Game.” NBC did a hilarious ad to promote, tapping SNL comedian Jason Sudeikis to play a bumbling American football coach who is on trial as Tottenham’s new coach. Take a look here:
Personally, the Tavern owner is geeking out about Kim Bo-Kyung making his EPL debut on Saturday. But he certainly did it the hard way. Evidence points to Kim rejecting Borussia Dortmund last summer -instead opting oddly enough for a 2nd division Welsh club in the English Championship. What a hell of a gamble – it paid off though in spades as Kim now becomes the 12th Korean to join the EPL (damn it – where’s the Tavern Statistician to fact-check after the Tavern owner had a couple of gin & tonics?). Let’s see if I got the chronology correct: Ji Dong-Won was the 8th Korean to join an EPL team at Sunderland. Park Chu-Young was #9 for Arsenal, Ki Sung-Yeung was 10th joining Swansea, and the 11th was Yun Suk-Young with QPR last season. Yep. Kim is the 12th to join. [Tavern Statistician: damn it, why was I awakened? I’m getting too old for this shit. Do your own fucking research. Alright Alright – no talking back – got it: go look up the Premier League page on Koreans in the EPL here. Yun is listed as the 11th -so you’re right. Happy now?].
I’ll acknowledge quietly for anyone still reading that I did a sit down interview with Kim in early April – right after he won Man of the Match against Blackburn. It was the start of his resurgence in the club as he didn’t get any minutes for more than a month at Cardiff. After April 1, Kim was a revelation for the Bluebirds. It was all part of the story line in their eventual historic promotion, their first in over 50 years back to top flight football. Tearing it up in pre-season with 3 goals scored, it’s tantalizing to contemplating Kim beasting it up against the big dogs of the EPL. Interview? I’m going to have to leave you good people hanging for a little while longer…
On to Ji Dong-Won. I was surprised to see Ji still with Sunderland. Boss Paolo Di Canio has indicated he is impressed and wants to utilize Ji this year. He was integral in helping Augsburg stay aloft in the Bundesliga last season while on loan. Still, reports have surfaced indicating a lot of backroom negotiating between the Blackcats management and interested Bundesliga clubs including Borussia Dortmund. But a heavy £7 – 9 Million price tag has driven many away. The big question of the day, will Ji see the light of day as a Blackcat again?
Within BigSoccer forum, I was surprised to learn about a Korean that wasn’t on my radar until recently: Kim Young-Kiu may be rising up from Almeria’s academy ranks to join their first team. Park Chu-Young watcher may recognize Almeria – Celta Vigo encountered the 2nd tier team in Spanish Cup action last year. Park’s goal for Celta in the 2nd leg contributed to a aggregate victory – setting up a series with Real Madrid. What’s significant now is that Almeria is no longer in the 2nd division. Promoted to La Liga, Almeria will now mix it up against the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Kiu -as he’s known in Almeria -has seen significant game time during pre-season. We’ll find out on Monday if the 18 year old is in the roster for Almeria when they start their season against Villareal. If so, he becomes only the 3rd Korean to enlist in La Liga.
Be on the lookout on the Tavern for Jae Chee’s August Mailbag responses – I’ll be chiming in on it- late as usual. Until then, Chal-ga-yo.