According to Grant Wahl's Twitter, ESPN does not own the rights to the big Mexico-US game from the Azteca on Aug. 12. The price is "extortionate".
Some people are taking this an yet another opportunity to talk about how much ESPN hates soccer, or ESPN sucks, or whatever else they want to blame ESPN for in the world (MJ? McNair? Iran? It's all possible at this point). I guess I missed the memo that ESPN is supposed to pay whatever it takes to get the rights to a match.
ESPN is a business, folks. Plain and simple. The ratings are getting better for soccer, but they're still not the greatest. Why would ESPN blow huge money on something that will get so-so ratings? Just so Aaron in his Chelsea replica jersey can be happy?
Besides, this is how negotiation works. ESPN will say the price is too high, they'll try to talk it down. They showed the '01 game on delay and then paid up to show the '05 game live. The last time you couldn't see the game in English was '97. And if you remember, that was the only time the US has gotten a result in Mexico. ¡Viva el Español!
If you're not watching games in Spanish at this point in the game, you're missing out. Tons of La Liga (I'll still say that La Liga is a better league overall to watch than the EPL), Mexican league, Argentinian league (great stuff), and Copa Libertadores. In fact, watch the first leg of Libertadores final tonight if you get Fox Sports en Español.