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Univision broadcast stumbles with Mexico’s friendlies

For the second consecutive friendly, Mexico’s game was telecasted on a small screen until the U.S. game ended

Last night’s Univision telecast
by Eugene Rupinksi

For a second straight friendly, Univision decided to show the start of the Mexico friendly in Picture in Picture (PIP) while the U.S. friendly got the main image. The action was done in both games because the United States games went long in both occasions. This brought out the complaints from Mexican fans who believe that this shows that Univision is handling the Mexican team as second in importance, especially because Univision has multiple channels to be able to show both games without PIP.

Even worse for the argument of choosing to air it by PIP, both Mexico games weren’t shown in Univision Deportes Network (UDN) because of Univision using it as a tool to force fans to leave Dish Network (who can still show UDN programming) and showing it exclusively though their other networks that are off Dish (Univision/Unimas). This means that even when they had a channel that was only going to show one match, all of the televsion viewers still had to see the Mexico game through the smaller PIP telecast. It also means that eventhough the Mexico national team is popular enough to be used as a pawn for their fight against Dish Network, it’s not important enough to get the better screen against the USMNT.

It isn’t new for fans to complain about the Mexico National team and Unvision’s policy about not switching games to other channels and going with the small PIP screen. In October 13, 2010, Mexico played a friendly against Venezuela in Ciudad Juarez. Because that day was the live rescue of the 33 Chilean miners trapped in a mine near Copiapo, Chile, Univision decided to show the main screen of the rescues while the Mexico game was shown mostly on the PIP. While it’s understandable that the rescue of Chilean miners was the more important news, a lot less understandable was why Univision didn’t just opt to show the game in another channel, especially considering that while all of of this was going on their other channel Galavision was showing reruns of Mexican TV comedies.

Indeed, when other channels like ESPN would just switch telecast, Unvision has kept the tradition of going with PIP. Sure, they can claim that the USMNT game was first, and in that regard, it had preference. But that’s nothing they have gone by. A couple weeks ago, the Leon vs Lobos BUAP game had to be stopped and delayed because of rain, and the Cruz Azul vs Atlas started later. Univision once again went to PIP, but the later game (and more popular) got the main screen. Leon and Lobos BUAP, even when they were the first teams to start, were relegated to smaller PIP screen.

At the end, it seems that Univision will continue to do this. Mexico’s national team will be good enough to be used as a tool in their DISH fight but not good enough to not play second fiddle to Univision’s advertising of the less popular USMNT.