TADAAM is every sports fan’s best friend
OTT platforms with a sports offering come in all shapes and sizes. Specialist OTT platforms focus on one particular sports discipline. But Eleven Sports and Eurosport Player have a broad range of sports. Perfect to watch your favourite sports and get acquainted with sports you’re not really familiar with.
Football, you say? That’s right, on Eleven Sports you’re in clover if you’re in for top tier football from a lot of different leagues. But make no mistake: it also has NBA basketball games, hockey, American football and even mixed martial arts.
Needless to say live football is Eleven Sports’ eye catcher. Belgium’s national league has briefly shut down for the festive holiday season until 9 January, even though Eupen and Genk are set to play a catch-up match on 6 January. The Pandas were left on the sideline for a while on account of the coronavirus.
But that doesn’t mean that as a football fan you should be left to content yourself with staring at this bloody winter scenes. In the Bundesliga, the Series A and LaLiga they are happy to continue playing. So there’s certainly no lack of live football on Eleven Sports. I’ve already added German top match Borussia Dortmund vs. Wolfsburg on 3 January to my calendar.
If anyone had told me 10 years ago I’d be watching FIFA matches instead of playing them, I’d have told them they were off their rocker. Today however, there’s the Proximus ePro League, a FIFA version of the competition. Skills, CVMs, elasticos: commentators Matthias De Vlieger and Thijs Vloebergh are certainly using an appropriate jargon. The controller’s heroes go by names such as ZayroR and Didista. Or they’re simply playing under their own name, like Abdullah Waiss, “the kind of guy you want to switch the telly on for”, according to Thijs and Matthias. My own two FIFA players comment that Abdullah is using a lot of skill moves. “Like that fakeshot, dad.” To think it’s come to this, me being taught by my own kids.
In “A Week at Your Club”, Dieter Landuyt keeps viewers updated with the latest football news. This time of year it comes as no surprise that a lot of that news is about transfers. Or rumours about transfers. And there is no football without a fair amount of barside chinwagging. On sports channels, this is what’s known as a talkshow. Mo Messoudi, Gert Verheyen, Frank Raes and other Franky Van der Elsts are on the studio panel. Wearing face masks in this day and age. Some of the national team players are also in on the act, albeit by way of video chat.
Eleven Sports’ biggest strength is its combination of Belgian and foreign football competitions. Fun for the fans is the fact that they’ve gathered together the content per team. You find yourself watching matches from European top tier competitions, as well as matches from the American Major League Soccer. Praise the lord! And Laurent Ciman.
Women’s football is on the rise. With good reason. The most impressive goal is one I see in the Scooore Super League with Racing Genk striker Gwen Duijsters lobbing in the ball from a sharp angle over the goalie’s head. Afterwards, she comments Lady Luck must have been watching over her. So that’s full marks for honesty too.
Eleven Sports has even more football to offer, including the England and European cup matches. And then there’s also basketball, cage fighting and hockey. Or American football, with spoken Dutch commentaries. Perfect for a layman like myself.
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The Europsport Player OTT platform takes just that little bit of extra effort. Navigating with your Tadaam remote control won’t work here. But using the free AndroidTV app, you’ll find yourself unlocking an offering that covers nearly 60 different sports disciplines with your smartphone. Did anyone say “more choice”?
A video report trains the spotlight on French swimming hero Florent Manaudou, underscored by suitably high-flown heroic music. Seeing the skiers slide their way down the immaculately white slopes at Val Gardena, I can’t help but yearn for a skiing holiday. There’ll come a time when that will be in the offing again, I tell myself. In the meantime, I’ve started my very own couch-bound après-ski festivities.
Then it’s time for football, Norwegian football that is. With commentaries in… Norwegian! Every footballer interviewed on camera sounds like a murder suspect. I’ve probably been watching too many Scandinavian crime thrillers. Not to worry though: you also get treated to reports on people like Diego Armando Maradona.
And on we go! There is the finals of the World Grand Prix snooker, with Jack Lisowski playing a blinder frame in which he is seen to pot an entire warehouse full of balls. In the end though, it’s his opponent Judd Trump who’ll be taking home the prize. Via a quick stopover at circuit racing, I end up watching some tennis. There is a report showing the highlights of the US Open 2020, good for 1 hour’s superlative tennis playing.
The coronavirus prevented a lot of the ace players to travel to New York. But Kim Clijsters was in attendance, as was Serena Williams, who was keen to play in the city that was so badly affected by the covid pandemic. And then there is still the men’s finals, the thriller between Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem. Even cut down to a summary more than 3 months after the event, the match remains edge-of-your-seat tense viewing.
Love your sports? Be sure to check Eurosport Player’s OTT platform. I don’t know of many channels that embrace poker, rugby, football as well as cycle racing.