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Morning Commute: It's A Shame D.C. United Wasn't On TV Yesterday

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UPDATE: As several have pointed out to me, FOX Soccer Channel has an exclusive deal with MLS that blacks out all games it shows locally. I can't see how this is a good thing for MLS, especially when they should be trying to build their local markets, but that's just me. 

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At some point yesterday, I remembered that D.C. United was playing Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle and the first-place L.A. Galaxy at RFK at night. I had hoped to tune into D.C. United's Thursday ESPN2 game against the Seattle Sounders, but it conflicted with a Wizards Summer League game, so I missed it. Therefore, I was excited to finally be able to see my home team play in a big MLS game. Call it post-World Cup fever, or just call it supporting the home team. Either way, I was one of those casual fans that MLS is desperately hoping to draw in to tune into their league.

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And then ... I found out the game wasn't on TV. Comcast SportsNet was showing boxing, so if I wanted to watch, I would have had to purchase the FOX Soccer Channel package, and I wasn't about to do that for just one game.

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To be fair, this is a rare occurrence, because there are only six D.C. United matches that aren't scheduled to be on local or national television this season. And I won't even begin to speculate about why the game wasn't shown when there might have been some good reasons I don't know about. But consider this: three of the D.C. United games not on TV this season were the season opener, the home opener and the first game against the Galaxy after the World Cup. In other words, three of the most important games of the season, especially for the casual fan, weren't on local TV.

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Worse, last night's game was very exciting. Donovan and Buddle, the two World Cup participants, scored for LA. Phenom Andy Najar scored for D.C. United, finishing off a beautiful cross from newcomer Pablo Hernandez. Finally, a controversial and unlucky handball call on D.C. United proved to be the difference in the match. That's a lot of exciting things that happened in a match that few in the area actually got to see. 

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I'm not going to blame anyone, but I will say that, as a casual soccer fan, I was disappointed. Very, very disappointed. Here's hoping the powers that be figure out a way to get D.C. United on local television when they play a big game. 

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