Two weeks ago, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund played 90 minutes of exhilarating cup-final football in front of a packed Wembley Stadium. The German fans – whom English writers often describe as “loud” and “enthusiastic,” but whose beer-drinking and flag-waving and non-stop cheering are, I’m sure, better characterized by some unwieldy German polysyllable – made a lot of noise. Jurgen Klopp performed his usual touchline gymnastics, and Arjen Robben scored a stoppage-time winner. In the gantry, a middle-aged basketball commentator shuffled his papers, consulted a color-coded pronunciation key, and told America that, “We’ve got a ballgame.”
In October 2011, Fox Sports secured US broadcasting rights for the 2018 World Cup. This news pleased approximately no one. Fox has broadcast Premier League games since the 1990s, but its coverage is widely mocked; next season, NBC will take over Fox’s Premier League rights.