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July 01, 2006

I'm probably late on this, especially since I tend to be a...

...World Cup? Oh, that interests me as much as the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals kind of guy - but -

Anti-Americanism Has Reached A New Low by James Dunnigan June 30, 2006

Anti-Americanism has reached a new low. FIFA, the international sports organization for football (soccer to Americans) refused to allow U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (and warships at sea) to view any of the current World Cup games being played in Germany. The U.S. AFN (Armed Forces Network) has no budget for sports programming, and usually gets a free feed for major sporting events, in the same spirit that movie studios and TV networks provide free access to their product for troops in combat zones. FIFA demanded money, and would not budge on that. While soccer is not a major sport in the United States, it's estimated that a quarter or more of the troops are fans, and would enjoy seeing some of the World Cup matches. However, once this situation became known, several wealthy Americans stepped forward to correct the situation. The first one to make a move was media magnate Robert Murdoch, who ordered his Fox Network to make arrangements, and pay whatever FIFA was demanding, to get the soccer games to the troops, as soon as possible. This was accomplished in 24 hours.

BTW - I actually support the FIFA in that it's their product, they can do what they want and we can draw whatever conclusions we wish and modify our behaviors to suit - I would no more compel them to give their product away than I would do so to General Motors.

This is about High Fiving those who *did* make it possible for the troops to catch the games.

H/t Jim Dunnigan of Strategy Page - and Rupert and whatever other wealthy 'Muricans stepped up to the plate.