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Scott D. Pierce: Real Salt Lake-L.A. Galaxy telecast was dazzling

Published March 11, 2012 10:48 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Watching the Real Salt Lake-Los Angeles Galaxy game on KTVX-Channel 4 on Saturday night was glorious.

And the match was pretty amazing, too.

The first installment of RSL's new three-year TV contract with KTVX/KUCW-Channel 30 got off to a gorgeous start in beautiful high definition. The picture was crisp and clear, we saw more of the field, and the play-by-play man Bill Riley and analyst Brian Dunseth did a great job.

It's easy for RSL fans to be happy in the wake of the team's come-from-behind 3-1 victory. But the quality of the telecast bodes well for the other 29 games we'll see this season on Channels 4 and 30 — all in high def, and all available throughout Utah.

That's something that has even caught the attention of players.

"I think it's great that it's all in HD," said RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando. "I think it's something that other teams around the country are going to look to do. Their fans are going to be jealous."

At least from the televsion side, the decision to simulcast Riley and Dunseth on TV and radio worked well. Riley was his usual steady self — and "steady" is high praise for a soccer-caster.

And Dunseth was flat-out brilliant in spots. When Javier Morales scored to give RSL a 2-1 lead, Dunseth quickly pointed out that David Beckham was so concerned with complaining to the referee that he "got caught watching."

When Fabian Espindola put RSL up 3-1, Dunseth was in the midst of telling viewers the Galaxy were substituting out their center-back for an offensive player and got caught there, too.

And way to go for calling out Beckham for his unprofessional behavior toward the ref that would have gotten almost any other player yellow-carded.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was that the RSL-produced pregame show was good. (RSL produces all these games, along with pre- and postgame shows, that air on Channels 4 and 30.)

The interview with coach Jason Kreis was good; the interview with rookie Sebastian Velazquez was really good.

On the downside, if you're going to interview MLS commissioner David Garber, do it either in the pregame or halftime — don't put him in the booth while the game is going on.

Sure, not all the camera angles were great and not all the replays came at opportune times. But keep in mind that the home team is responsible for providing the HD video feed, so those complaints should be directed at the Galaxy.

And let's blame them for the glitch that took out the picture for 1:36 early in the game.

It was frustrating when it happened, but by the time the game was over chances are most RSL fans were so happy they'd forgotten about it completely.

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com.




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