BY PHIL ANDREWS, Senior Writer
Given their ties to Sports and Entertainment powerhouse ESPN, it seemed only natural that the perennial number one rated television station in town would partner with the MLS’ newest expansion team, the Philadelphia Union.
Union President Tom Veit and WPVI/6ABC General Manager Bernie Prazenica jointly announced today that the club has indeed entered into a multi-year partnership with the long established leader among local television stations.
The partnership will give WPVI broadcast rights to many of the soccer club’s games, starting in March. With the Major League Soccer schedule soon to be released, the commitment is for as many Philadelphia Union games as possible to be carried live on 6ABC, and all games re-broadcast on Channel 6’s digital channel – 6.2 (also known as the Live Well HD Network).
Of course, it was announced last week that long time MLS and ESPN commentator, JP Dellacamera, would be the lead commentator for Union games in their inaugural season. Dellacamera without question, one of the best football (soccer) announcers in the game.
No word yet on if the team has made a decision to add a second announcer in the broadcast booth, many European clubs only use one announcer. Trust me; Dellacamera is more than capable of handling the chore, if asked.
The only question surrounding Dellacamera, is who will replace him this summer (June 11-July11), when he heads off to South Africa to call World Cup Games. A typical Major League Soccer season with playoffs, runs March-to-November. Dellacamera would miss about
6-7 Union Games.
The only other speculation prior to today’s partnership announcement between the Union and WPVI/6ABC, was whether or not local all-sports station, Comcast SportsNet would pick-up some of those broadcasts.
Given Comcast’s commitment to the Philadelphia Phillies, scheduling time would have been tighter than that belt buckle after Thanksgiving dinner.
Do however look for SportsNet to pick up coverage of some games for the WPS (Women’s Pro Soccer) expansion squad, the Philadelphia Independence, who also kick off their inaugural season this spring.