March Madness: Sand Soccer

TV Events More Important than the #SheBelieves Cup Final

Anytime four of the top five teams in the world gather to compete, it’s a big event. Unless it’s the recently-crowned FIFA World Cup Champion United States Women’s National Team and top competitors Germany, France and England.

The final match of the She Believes Cup features the USWNT and Germany. The last time they met, more than 50,000 fans were present, awaiting a victor who’d advance to the World Cup Final. The subsequent Final drew almost 27 million TV viewers in the US—the largest TV audience for a soccer match in US history. So, there’s very little interest in watching such a match, for sure.

This time, the scarcely-available ESPN3 network has the game. It’s also available via live stream on an app, though my unscientific sample of speedy FIOS Internet returned only an intermittently watchable program during the previous streaming broadcast. At times, the game appeared to be shot through a rainy window. Once, a ladybird beetle (ladybug) landed on the camera lens. All expense was spared to bring as small an audience as possible to these games. Clearly, something is more important.

Here's a list of all of the critically important programs airing on the various broadcast and sports networks from 7:30—9:00 EST in the Northeast that must be more important than Women’s Soccer. Somehow. To Somebody. Somewhere.

Network                             Program

CBS                                    Jeopardy! (new), Survivor (new)

ABC                                    Inside Edition (new), The Middle (re-run), The Goldbergs (re-run)

NBC                                    Extra (new), The Voice (new/recap show)

FOX                                    TMZ (new), Rosewood (new)

USA                                    Law & Order: SVU (re-runs)

ABC and ESPN frequently share sports coverage, but those re-runs are pretty important. USA, an NBC property, would surely have tanked the ratings by dumping two season 14 installments of the omnipresent cop drama.

Sports Network                  Program           

ESPN                                   NBA Basketball (Memphis v. Boston)

ESPN Goal Line                  ESPN Buzzer Beater

ESPNEWS                           SportsCenter, SportsCenter, SportsCenter 

ESPN U                               Big 12 Basketball (OK State v. Kansas State)

ESPN 2                                ACC Basketball (GA Tech v. Clemson)

ESPN SEC                           SEC Now, SEC Basketball (Auburn v. TN)

CSN (Comcast)                    NBA Basketball (Memphis v. Boston) Sweet! Twice!

FS1                                       Big East Basketball (DePaul v. Georgetown)

FS2                                      UFC Reloaded (re-run, two men fighting in Japan)

NBCSN                                NHL Live, NHL Hockey (Chicago v. St. Louis)

CBSSports                           Patriot League(!) Basketball (Holy Cross v. Lehigh)

BeIn Sports                          Real Madrid TV Hey, it’s soccer.

"Grass-like" Green Sand Pit photo courtesy of Hope Solo via Twitter, yesterday. Another quality pitch for the best teams in the world.