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Whoops! Cablevision Programming Blunder for World Football Challenge

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If it’s either Optimum, or it’s not, I’ll take not.

On Tuesday night, when ESPN2 aired a World Football Challenge match between Italian giants Juventus and Mexican powerhouse Club América, Cablevision proved yet again, in hilarious fashion, that soccer is yet to hit the American mainstream.

The preseason tournament is mostly a publicity stunt that helps some the world’s top clubs gain a foothold in an emerging market, and gives stateside fans an opportunity to watch elite players, who they would normally never get the chance to see in person. The game had added significance for viewers in our area because it was played at Citi Field, home of the NY Mets, in Queens. Considering the proximity of the game to their audience, you would think Cablevision would make sure to get it right.

But what did Cablevision do? Someone over in the programming department didn’t know that Club América was a Mexican club, instead assuming that “América” meant United States. So, last night, in extraordinary fashion, Juventus, who wore their traditional white and black stripes, apparently took on the United States Men’s National Team.

Only the USMNT wore a different color uniform and looked a whole lot better than they normally do.

If only our guys could play as well as their doppelgangers from Mexico.

NOTE: Upon receiving an inquiry from Cablevision regarding this post, SoccerSafari has added a statement from the cable provider. In their defense, their programming information is purchased from an outside vendor, who was to blame for the mistake. After all, they have over 300 channels, and not all information from every program at any time can be double checked for accuracy.

“Cablevision cares about soccer,” said Jim Maiella, a spokesperson for the company. “We were the first local TV provider in the area – and one of the first in the country – to carry Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus in both standard-definition and HD, in addition to other established networks that carry soccer like ESPN, ESPN2, GolTV, MSG, Univision and Telefutura.

“Like other major cable providers, we display guide and show information that comes from an outside vendor who works directly with programmers.  In our case, that vendor is Tribune. We have communicated the discrepancies that were basis of this post to Tribune and we are sorry for any confusion the listing may have caused.”

So there you have it.

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Mike Levitt

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