ESPN America (Or: Some sacrifices are worth it

All of my life I have enjoyed watching sports. I grew up a Chicago Bulls NBA fan, fully immersed in the Michael Jordon era. I enjoyed the occasional free tickets Dad was able to get for my brother and I. And then somewhere along the way, I found football. I kept watching until I figured out exactly what the heck was going on. And then there was the unrequited love of the Chicago Cubs, from a grandfather who would turn the television on, yet put it on mute and listen to the radio commentators instead. At least they knew to talk about the actual game.

My first NFL game (the Jets), in which we trounced the Cincinnati Bengals in a thrilling, freezing shutout game. My new love of the New York Rangers hockey, and pretzels with cheese.

And what does The Netherlands have? The Hague have? ESPN America.

Baseball... baseball... and more baseball

ESPN America is the sole American sports channel I’ll have, mostly focusing on baseball (a bit too much), football, and basketball. There’s not much hockey on it, although there’s not much hockey on the regular ESPNs over here in the states, either.

With the time zone difference of 6 hours, the NFL pregame shows will be starting around 6PM Dutch time, for the early afternoon games. So on a good day, we might see one of the early games before we sleep. The late afternoon and night games are out. No Monday Night Football. But my fiancé did state that I should plan to stay up late to watch the Super Bowl and take the next day off. Perhaps find an expat gathering and hang out late into the night.

Some pros – I might actually watch enough soccer to like it. There’s not enough on to enjoy it over here. Perhaps I’ll be able to watch enough of the Tour de France to understand what everything means, as they never show it live over in the States it seems.

It’ll be an adjustment. But still, at least there’s ESPN America. And a lot of downloaded TV shows.

Categories: Sports | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “ESPN America (Or: Some sacrifices are worth it

  1. I naively thought that soccer would be on TV all the time here. The reality is that the Dutch league has its own channels that you have to subscribe to. Veronica and RTL occasionally have an Eredivisie match on, but if you really want to watch soccer, you’ll need to pay for the extra sports channels, and that will mostly just get you the English Premiere League, and some of the other major leagues from other countries.

  2. I know that I will have access to Veronica, and I think I will also have RTL. I can’t forget Veronica, since that seems to be where a good chunk of the American sitcoms with Dutch subtitles go. Thanks for the info!

  3. Roger

    When it comes to soccer, the pay channel route is relatively new, however games were never really shown live much before that. Studio Sport is what most people watch on Sundays at 7pm (NL1), which has the matches of the weekend in recap format. I remember a similar type of show on the BBC back when i liked soccer (thats about a decade or two ago) on saturday night/sunday morning with recaps of Premier League soccer. But yeah if you would want to watch full games you either need a pay channel or you can also pay by game with most cable providers. Like 4,95 for a single game i would guess. (really just a guess.)

    I’d say the sunday night show is plenty. *smile*

    • I guess I’ll be dragging you guys to soccer games live then, since the Sunday show is going to conflict with the early afternoon NFL games (1PM -> 7PM). Be warned!

  4. We do get the evening football games on ESPN America, just a day later. It’s kind of nice, because we can watch the Sunday night game on Monday evening, but with most of the commercial breaks edited out, so it doesn’t take as long to watch! Monday Night Football is shown on Tuesday evening. You can actually spread out your game watching for about three days! I enjoy it even more this way.

    We skip the pay sport channels. Unless you want to support one team in particular, I find that you can see enough soccer (which I really enjoy) during the week with evening championship matches. Between the Europa Cup and the Champions Cup games that are played Wednesday and Thursday (I think), you can see them for free on Veronica or channel 3.

    In other words, tons of sports to watch and enjoy!

    • The lack of commercials every 13 minutes does seem nice. Heck, one of the Dutch channels even gives you a countdown for when the show comes back… since when they do have commercials it seems they last a bit longer.

      I’ve just never been one to watch taped sports events. That just might need to change!

  5. I find that there is quite a bit of soccer, tennis and biathalon shown on Eurosports. I want ESPN but my provider only includes it if I get the mega package with 600 channels I don’t want. Is there a way to get it “a la carte”?
    Thanks! And nice read!

  6. Jim

    Aah, but what are you going to do about your other favorite, NASCAR?

  7. I probably haven’t watched NASCAR actively in a good 5 years. Except for Carl Edwards — he got me to watch part of the finale last year thanks to the possibility of getting to see a back flip. Alas, he did not win, so no back flip.

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