Saturday, 19 June 2010

World Cup Podcasts

There's quite a few daily World Cup podcasts on offer and I've had a good listen. Expect to hear discussion on the Jabulani match ball and the noisy vuvuzelas mentioned in every podcast at least once. Here are a few in order of my preference:

1. Top spot has to go to BBC Radio 5 Live's World Cup Daily. Mark Chapman or Mark Pougatch present the day's highlights from South Africa. The podcast includes clips of the commentary of the goals and the summarisers' post match analysis and interviews with players and managers. It's my favourite of these podcasts because they have the best World Cup commentators, summarisers and interviewees on the radio and it's only 15 minutes long, instead of thirty plus like the rest of them.

2. The ITV Football Podcast, like 5 Live's, is short and sweet. Former 5 Live presenter Matt Smith and the very able Ned Boulting go through the day's match action and news from the tournament with the ITV Sport commentators and summarisers including Peter Drury, Chris Coleman and Andy Townsend. I like the podcast because they have a good knowledge of football and throw in facts and figures you didn't know.

3. Alan Davies' Armchair World Cup unlike all the other podcasts reviewed here, this one's also broadcast on the radio and is weekly, not daily. It's an amusing, quirky take on the events in South Africa in front of a studio audience. Davies' presents it along with guests Ian Stone and DJ Tayo and it's actually very funny, not that I'm normally a fan of Alan Davies. It's broadcast first on BBC Radio 5 Live on Sundays at 11am.

4. Former Channel 4 Football Italia presenter James Richardson presents the Guardian's offering, World Cup Daily with a few friends. Lively, jokey and decent summaries of the day's matches. Richardson interviews newspaper journalists based abroad about the different countries' performances. But at 35 minutes or more, it's only going to be regularly listened to by the most keen World Cup followers.

5. ESPN's Fifa World Cup Today is hilarious but for all the wrong reasons. It's an American podcast mainly focused on the fate of the USA team presented by a man named Chuck Wilson! Think Fox News meets the World Cup. It's awful. The ESPN match highlights are so bad you do wonder if it's the first "soccer match" the commentators have ever been to, for example, one commentator pronounced Gerrard (as in Steven) with a hard G! Worth listening to just once for the experience.

So plenty of World cup podcasts to get your teeth into. Have you found any other decent ones?

BLOG UPDATE 22.06.10

I've since come across ‘The Game’ World Cup podcast from The Times through reading the paper (if you search 'World Cup' in iTunes it doesn't come up - sort your search engine optimisation out The Times!). Gabriele Marcotti presents the podcast on a dodgy line from South Africa. He speaks to The Times sports journalists, including Oliver Kay, Matt Dickinson and Patrick Barclay, over the phone in the UK. Marcotti's strengths are his football knowledge and strong opinions, an Italian/American Alan Green if you will but this podcast suffers from two drawbacks. Firstly, the sound quality is awful which hardly makes it an enjoyable listen and then there’s the fact that it’s made up of phone conversations with journalists in the UK – it simply doesn't give you the atmosphere of the tournament. You can subscribe to it here.

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