Euro 2012 on TSN Commentators

As is the norm with international soccer tournaments in Canada, TSN will use the international commentary feed for Euro 2012. I now know who those commentators are. Here is a quick rundown.

  • John Helm will lead the commentary crew calling matches in Kyiv and Lyiv. Helm worked for ITV before turning to freelance in the late 1990s. He has called the last three World Cup finals, as well as the Euro 2008 final.
  • Steve Bower will work matches in Poznan and Wroclaw. Bower calls Europa League for ITV, Match of the Day games for BBC and various leagues including Serie A and Bundesliga for ESPN UK.
  • Tony Jones will call matches in Warsaw and Gdansk. Jones works for Sky Sports and is heard on the international feed of Premier League matches many Saturday mornings at 10am ET and on Champions League matches on Sportsnet.
  • Dave Woods rounds out the list of commentators calling matches in Kharkiv and Donetsk. Woods calls matches for BBC Match of the Day as well as Five’s Europa League coverage. Woods was also part of the 201o World Cup coverage on CBC, even appearing on the public broadcaster for exclusive pre-match interviews.

In other Euro 2012 broadcasting news, TSN has announced that former Spurs player Darren Anderton will join Luke Wileman and Jason de Vos as part of their studio coverage. Here is the press release for that announcement.

TSN announced earlier today that former Spurs midfielder Darren Anderton will join Luke Wileman and Jason de Vos in TSN’s studio. Here is the press release for that announcement.

TSN welcomes a new recruit to the network, as former English Premier League and English national team midfielder Darren Anderton joins Canada’s Sports Leader’s broadcast team for UEFA EURO 2012.

Anderton, who represented England on the national stage, will work alongside TSN’s UEFA EURO 2012 host Luke Wileman and analyst Jason deVos in studio throughout the tournament. UEFA EURO 2012 takes place in Poland and Ukraine from June 8 to July 1.

“As a veteran of the English Premier League and English national team, Darren Anderton understands the nuances of the game and what it takes to be successful on the pitch at one of soccer’s biggest events,” said Mark Milliere, Senior Vice-President of Production, TSN. “With his insight and extensive first-hand soccer experience, we’re thrilled to add someone of Darren’s pedigree to our broadcast team for UEFA EURO 2012.”

“I know how popular EURO has become for Canadian football fans and I’m looking forward to working with Luke and Jason to break down all of the action over the next month,” said Anderton. “This tournament is wide open, so fans can certainly expect some fantastic games and a few surprises.”

An accomplished midfielder, Anderton spent 12 years with Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League (1992-2004). A native of Southampton, Anderton has appeared 30 times for England, scoring seven times and highlighted by appearances at the 1998 World Cup and UEFA Euro 1996. Anderton’s impressive professional career also boasts stints with Portsmouth, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton and Bournemouth.

Here is a link to the complete Euro 2012 TV Canadian schedule. Check back thoughout the tournament as I will post more detailed schedules that will include Euro 2012 Tonight airtimes as well as when repeats are on TV in primetime. I will also include day-by-day commentators for TSN (Canada), ESPN (America), BBC and ITV (Britain) and RTE (Ireland).

42 thoughts on “Euro 2012 on TSN Commentators

  1. Does TSN know that there are 15 other nations than England playing. I am sick and tired of the English – centric coverage on Canadian TV

    • If TSN mixes things up for the World Cup in 2014 and brings in analysts who played for nations other than England, I think that it would be a welcome change. A different perspective would be great to hear.

      • TSN has 2 analysts. One played for Canada and one played for England. I don’t see the big problem. It’s not like German and Dutch analysts who speak English and want to work in Toronto for a month are plentiful.

        • Apparently Aron Winter is based in Toronto and free for the next month ;)

          • Craig Forrest would be good too. During the 2006 World Cup, Rogers and Bell teamed up and did a good job covering the entire tournament, with analysts from both Sportsnet and TSN sitting on the same panel.

    • You can relieve that sickness by watching the games in French on RDS, or Italian on TLN.

      • I don’t speak those languages, My point is that our game (Canada’s Program) suffers because it is influenced by English football. A country who has not won a major tournament since 1966. There are plenty of former Canadian Players that can do the job with Jaso De Vos. Paul Stalteri would have been a good choice, spent the majority of his career in Germany and knows that game pretty well.

        • And how does that relate to you being pissed off at TSN for hiring English-speaking hosts?

          • I am not saying that they should not speak English, I am saying that they should not be or have been associated with England.

            • TSN is using the International Feed, and the producers believe the best English-language commentators they can find are based in England, so that who they hire. TSN could have used the ESPN feed, but the main voice is Ian Darke, who is just as English as John Helm.

              Yes, there are 15 other countries in the tournament, but Ireland is the only other which has English as a main language. The International Feed producers aren’t going to hire a German or an Italian to do the English-language commentary just so the coverage seems less “England-centric”. And frankly, I’ve found the commentators rather restrained in their cheering in games involving England. It’s not like TSN is directly piping in BBC coverage.

              • Again, I am not commenting on the commentators. I am making a note on the inhouse guys (Darren Anderton, Luke Wileman and Jason de Vos)

                • Considering England is playing in the tournament, and Canada isn’t, I don’t see the big problem. I don’t disagree that there are Canadians who played elsewhere who know the game well, but they never played in Euro.

                  Personally I think Kevin McKenna would make a great analyst when he retires (another Bundesliga player). Whether any Canadian network scoops him up is another question.

                  As for TSN’s studio, Wileman and de Vos are the faces of TSN soccer broadcasts. I doubt playing in the EPL and Championship had much to do with de Vos getting the job at TSN (or at CBC before). Anderton is an odd choice, I will admit, though. Too bad they couldn’t find someone from ESPN UK or something.

    • And that is why Michael Robinson would have made an excellent choice. Born in England, chose to play for Ireland, and an expert on Spanish football where he has chosen to spend his life. But if TSN had asked him no doubt some would still complain.

      Darren Anderon surprises me as a choice, but at least he was a member of England’s team that made the semi-final of the Euros, and that triumphed in the Tournoi de France over France, Italy and Brazil (sort of).

      • I thought Robinson was dreadful doing the Champions League final. Just my opinion, but he was too repetitive. I couldn’t imagine hearing him say the same thing for months.

        Fact is 78 players in the tournament play in England (yes, I know it is largely because Ireland are there too). The next closest is Germany at 45. Someone who has good knowledge of the Premier League is probably the best to break down most of the teams. Every team except Greece and Ukraine has an England-based player. Many are among the best on their team. Here are some examples

        Poland – Szczesny
        Russia – Arshavin
        Czech Rep. – Cech, Rosicky
        Holland – Heitinga, van der Vaart, van Pierse, Kuyt
        Denmark – Agger, Bendter
        Germany – Mertesacker
        Portugal – Meireles, Nani
        Spain – Torres, Mata, Silva
        Italy – Balotelli
        Ireland – Given, O’Shea, Long (among others)
        Croatia – Modric
        Sweden – Larsson
        France – Nasri, Evra, Malouda

        The only other league that comes close is the Bundesliga, which has players on 10 teams (again, many stars included). Serie A has players on 7 teams and La Liga on 5.

        That’s one reason why someone who follows EPL closely is a good choice. I’m not sure Anderton is the best choice simply because he hasn’t done any media work in the UK (that I’m aware of).

    • Darren Anderton was a good player but a commentator he is not, unfortunately, but has played at the highest level Jason De vos played in England in the league below the premiership, hardly qualified for this job. He has never played in this type of tournament with this type of pressure having to play every few days against this caliber of teams. He has way too much to say and half of what he predicts or thinks is wrong and no
      one else can get a word in,,,,,terrible.

      • I disagree on both counts. To be honest, I’d rather hear the both of them than most of the pundits on British TV.

        Considering there really needs to be one Canadian voice on a panel on Canadian television, my question is which retired Canadian player would fit the role better? There aren’t many who have played in a World Cup, if that’s what you consider “this type of tournament”. Many, including de Vos, played in the 2000 Gold Cup. A tournament, which is North America’s equivalent to Euro, which Canada won. De Vos was the captain. Therefore de Vos has played in a similar tournament, and won it.

        As for Anderton. His English bias, at times, is annoying. However, it’s hard to find any English player who doesn’t have that bias. He’s not any worse than ITV’s Gareth Southgate or BBC’s Alan Hansen.

        • I also disagree on two of your three comments, why I will tell you why.
          I agree that having Canadian commentators has a benifit but unfortunately there are none of any note, the British commentating is excellent watching Alan Curbishley and Andy Townsend is the highlight of the week on Setanta, both played at the highest level, Alan mangaged Charlton and West Ham in the EPL and both are accomadating to each others opinions.
          I think Jason De Vos needs to be more accomadating with his fellow commentators, he just drones on and on trying to look super qualified, very annoying….Darren does not a look in.
          Gold cup?, nothing like the WC & euro’s at alI……really
          As for Darren Anderton, he was an excellent winger for Spurs and England but commentating is not his forte, as for bias, Darren chose Germany to win on the first program….

          • So seem to equate having success to being qualified to work on TV in arguing against de Vos. Then you turn around and say that even though Anderton was a great player, he isn’t a good analyst. You don’t have to be the best to be a great analyst, IMO. Just look at most hockey and baseball analysts. They are goalies and catchers. Many of whom set on the bench for most of their career.

            I know of many who can’t stand Townsend or Curbishley. Hence why its a matter of opinion. I like Andy, but don’t like Alan. Jason probably should let Darren get more in, but I think he is supposed to be the “star” of TSN’s show since he is their top analyst.

            Gold Cup is like Euros in every way except two. The level of play and media attention. In terms of how you have to play, and how often you have to play, its exactly the same. Canada winning that in 2000 was like Greece wining Euro in 2004. Jason has won at the international level, something almost every English player (however better than him they may have been) can’t say.

            My reference to Darren’s bias wasn’t so much that he’d pick them to win. Like everyone else, he likes the Germans. More so how much he focuses on them (and uses “we”) during their matches.

        • Anderton’s English bias is not any worse than Alan Hansen’s??????
          I think that would be news to Alan Hansen!

  2. It’s LVIV, not Lyiv!

    Get it right!

  3. That Denmark vs Germany game on CTV on June 17 is going to confuse a lot of people. I know CTV reaches more people but most viewers are going to be used to TSN/TSN2 by the time it rolls around and by the way, who the hell wants to watch Nascar in Canada? ITS NOT A SPORT!

    • Does that mean Formula 1, Indycar, MotoGP aren’t sports either?

      • Driving a car around the same lap over and over again is NOT a sport. F1 at least needs some skills because you are driving on the roads where you have to keep turning in different directions and there is a skill in not letting the other guy pass and such, and even that is barely a sport because you are driving a car! But, Nascar is the biggest example of a hobby promoted as a sport.

        • I think poker is a bigger example of a hobby promoted as a sport. But that’s beside the point – you say “who the hell wants to watch Nascar in Canada? ITS NOT A SPORT!” Obviously there are Nascar fans in Canada. Whether or not it’s a sport by your definition doesn’t really make a difference – I’m sure Nascar fans will disagree with you, but they watch it because they enjoy it, plain and simple. And TSN airs it because it gets them viewers. Same reason they aired tons of poker in the past.

          • So, IndyCar isn’t a sport then? Is track cycling a sport? Many sports are run in ovals where you turn left the whole race. Goes back over 100 years.

            Like it or not NASCAR is about the 6th highest rated league/series in Canada. Behind NHL, CFL, NFL, curling and baseball.

    • I think $20 is a little steep for just 31 games, was expecting it to be in the $10-15 range. Don’t think I’ll be buying, especially since work will make me miss a bunch of games.

    • Thanks. Seems like a good deal to be able to access HD feeds from anywhere when out and about in the working day.
      I hope the quality holds up. The modest price point will keep the tightwads away – that should help.

  4. RFO St-Pierre et Miquelon airs Euro 2012 games as well. SD only. They have France vs England today.

  5. I just want to say that john helm is the best commentator in the world. Thanks for your nice commentary John.your voice is a delight to listen to.

    • Haha. All a matter of opinion I guess. I’d take any of the BBC, ITV, ESPN or the other 3 international feed commentators over Helm. He drives me crazy. Repeats pointless facts and rarely follows the run of play. There’s a reason he doesn’t work for any of the big broadcasters (ITV, BBC, Sky, ESPN etc.) in Britain anymore.

  6. I am not exactly sure what everyone is looking for but if you can find an analyst with better depth and insight than Jason de Vos has provided I would love to know who it is. He has quite simply done an outstanding job. Many seem to think that by virtue of the fact that he is not German or Spanish or Italian but is only a Canadian that his level of soccer knowledge by default must be inferior. I think he does a wonderful job of analyzing the entire play, why it succeeded or why it failed and what the critical elements leading up to it were.

    • Agreed fully. His segment at halftime is one of my favourite parts of TSN’s broadcast.

    • Jason De Vos’s nationality is not the issue, its his condescending approach, he played for Ipswich “the tractor boys” for goodness sake, needs to have a good “coach” on commentating i think he should be farmed out to the BBC for a while.

      • Canadian networks aren’t in a position to send commentators to the BBC. Brits would go crazy if a Canadian was on their TV coverage. Just like Canadians would if a Brit did an NHL game.

  7. Is John Helm (and the other callers) on site, or calling from a studio in Canada?

  8. Who produces the english language International Feed? Is it independant of the ITV and BBC feeds?

    • Yes. I believe Host Broadcast Services produces it (they do the World Cup for sure, not certain on Euro). Similar to how TWI (or whatever its called now) does the Premier League international feed.

  9. All I heard throughout the whole Euro tournament  toward the Spanish team was a lot of criticism coming from your commentators and nothing about their style of playing, strategy and brilliant moves that the coach made in every game. There are other styles of the way soccer is played in the world and I wish your commentators would be more appreciative of this.

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