Opinion: BeIN Sport Color Commentators – Why You So Bad?

BeIN Sport

There are many beautiful things about working for The Center Circle, but there are two I would like to share with you now. One: I get a platform with which to share my opinion on. Two: I can occasionally use that platform for “evil”…as is the case with this article. After watching several Serie A and La Liga games with BeIN Sport (the TV channel), I can no longer keep quiet as their color commentators have started to frequently cause my English teacher wife and my love of great commentary to sit despondent in disbelief and disgust. Why is this? Well…

First, let me say that all of their staff have given the game of soccer some wonderful years and some massive contributions. This is to take nothing away from the fact that nearly every commentator has been involved in the world’s game and have played/coached at the highest level of the sport. Their past accolades are impressive and they deserve any praise (for their accomplishments in the game) that they receive…


BeIN Sport are a massive company and their reach and access to able-voiced commentators should be massive, yet they continue to assault my ears with Bodo Illgner providing mindless “color,” and Ray Hudson doing his best Shakespeare impersonation by adding non-existent words to the English language. For this article, I will not even touch on the play-by-play Americans that need to be forced to listen to hours and hours of Martin Tyler on repeat before being allowed to step back in front of the microphone, but it surprises me that the commentator issues are so prevalent.

For Bodo Illgner, the man seems incapable of stepping outside of a “Captain Obvious” role. His grasp of the English language also seems to be limited to what he hears his commentator compatriots saying and phrases he probably picked up during his playing days mixed with various grunts and noises of exasperation. “They want to see this good defender giving good defending for the club”…really? I always half expect to start lingering into classic John Madden-style stuff with “when the ball goes in the back of the net, it is a goal,” or “nice curve with his left foot…and a strong one…not a soft one”…actually, that second one happened…no joke. Once again, mad respect for Illgner’s time as a keeper, but he is not a commentator.

For Ray Hudson, the opinion might be a little split. After doing some research, it seems like some fans enjoy his stream of consciousness style of commentary and his ability to bring phrases from any and everything and make it apply to football. No matter how many times Ray says it, “magisterial” does not mean what he thinks it means.

It also does absolutely nothing for anyone but yourself to occasionally sprinkle terms associated with sex (i.e. orgasmic, erect, etc) into your commentary…in fact, sometimes it is just unsettling. Like Bodo, he also seems to mix in the occasional grunt or other odd noise…definitely a go-to move for these two commentators. Like I said for Illgner, Hudson’s contribution to world soccer is impressive, but his commentating makes me sick to my stomach.


So where do you stand on certain commentators in the world’s game? Do you have a favorite commentary team or a commentator that you believe could benefit from a swift kick to the face? I will see if I cannot find a link to fill out an application online for you guys to replace the fellows down at BeIN…they certainly need it.


Tags: ,

About the author: Andrew McCole


If I may be so bold to condense my immense personality into two words, it would be: soccer nerd. I love everything about the beautiful game and I tend to reflect that in my writing. I suffer through Liverpool fandom and hope that they will win another title before my wife spreads my ashes at Anfield (considering I'm in my twenties, it seems somewhat likely). Although I also dabble in tennis, teaching, and coaching, most of my free-time is spent writing articles for The Center Circle! Feel free to stalk me on Google+


Recent posts in Club Teams



  • Platinum

    Ray Hudson is a god.

    • Andrew McCole

      As I mentioned, his exploits in the game have been amazing…but his commentary has started to drive me mad. I do realize that he definitely has people on both sides of the fence when it comes to his commentating…but I just cannot handle his “mageeeeesterial” vernacular…

    • Armando

      Ray Hudson doubles the entertainment presented to us day in and day out by the great trio of Barcelona. He is extremely knowledgeable,funny and intelligent. The alternatives are robot like people with poor or at best adequate (not very good) knowledge of the game. They cite unnecessary statistics, as if football is a baseball game, or constantly pit Messi vs Ronaldo. And the worst one is Duncan Bishop. He describes the beautiful game as if it were a funeral. I put the Valencia Barcelona game that he was commenting on mute.

  • Ace

    I refer to Ray Hudson and Phil Schoen as clowns. I turn the volume off, so I do not have to listen to idiotic commentary. Why not just take the feed from Europe and stop these clowns from opening their mouths. I am so glad that ESPN is showing the World Cup. They are not the best but anything is better then the “Clowns”.

    • Bildad

      I absolutely agree with you. I find Ray hudson too rehearsed, scripted and his screeching cheers after a goal made me kick my TV off the stand. I prefer Peter Drury, Martin Tyler or Andy gray.

  • getaclue

    Platinum Ray Hudson makes sexual noises and absolutely takes away from the game, obstructing it’s view and not presenting it. His overly dramatic “oohs and aaahs” and his absolute ridiculous use of language forces me to watch the spanish beIN channel, he absolutely is disgusting to listen to, no class, of course clueless beer drinking T&A american fans probably like the guy.

  • Stylo

    I too watch beIN sport in Spanish just to get away from Ray Hudson and Phil Schoen – These guys can only work for start-ups and newcomers like goltv and beIN sport. ESPN, FOX, and other traditionally well established networks would never employ these clowns. Do you ever get the feeling while watching a Barcelona game that there is only player for Barcelona vs eleven for the opponent? When Phil Schoen manages to get through his extraneous analogies and presents the lineups, can you honestly make out any of the names he pronounces other than the obvious? Phil, if you want to impress Spanish viewers so badly, perhaps you should have applied for commentary at beIN sport SPANISH. Ronaldinho, Zidane, the real and original Ronaldo (fenomino) and others have rendered me speechless with their amazing skills. Listening Ray Hudson moaning and groaning when messi plays is like watching a typical jerry springer episode – TAWDRY!!!! Can someone please tell Ray Hudson that the viewers get it – HE LOVES MESSI.

  • I have watched football all my life and have often wondered whether the commentators are watching the same game as me. I am watching the Chelsea v Liverpool League Cup semi final second leg and i have rarely heard such rubbish commentary – it seems they have little knowledge of football and keep calling incidents completely wrongly – and then saying ridiculous things like ‘Is Cinderella going to win or is she going to turn into a pumpkin – alert – Cinderella doesn’t turn into a pumpkin!

  • Keb

    Ray Hudson ruins the game. If every play is so great and superb in every moment of every game, as it is when he is commentator, then his overdone enthusiasm starts to ring hollow and empty.

  • Finlay

    The Bein sports commentary is like listening to cartoon characters. I absolutely hate listening to the 2 gentlemen already mentioned, especially Ray Hudson. He sprouts nonsense like a verbal form of diarrhea. I frequently watch the games with the mute button engaged. To make matters worse they have assembled a star cast of similarly bad color commentators and studio experts( some of whom are now disliked on both sides of the Atlantic).

  • sam

     Ray Hudson makes a lot of noises and absolutely takes away from the game, obstructing it’s view and not presenting it. His overly dramatic comments and his absolute ridiculous voice and use of language forces me to watch the spanish beIN channel, he absolutely is disgusting to listen to and no class at all.

  • Rustybonz

    Ray Hudson makes me smile. He enhances my experience of sitting down to enjoy an entertaining match. I’m an American and haven’t been following the beautiful game my whole life. Am I not invited to begin, however late in life, to appreciate the amazing contests? Ray caught my attention and imagination. Anyone can be boring- There is only one Ray; he is magisterial!!!

  • I can understand how Ray Hudson is entertaining to someone new to soccer. At first, it seems ridiculous and fun. However, someone watching game after game on BEIN sports doesn’t understand how irritating these commentators are, especially Ray Hudson. His screeches, yelps, grunts, squeals, and screams are completely unacceptable. Ray Hudson constantly interrupts his colleagues with such piercing noise, or with other “verbal gymnastics”(he is a self proclaimed “verbal gymnast if you didn’t know) that make me cringe. I stopped watching BEIN sports last year because of him alone. Advocates of Hudson say he accurately expresses the emotion of the game. Countless commentators have been able to beautifully capture this game without such irritating babbling and yelling. I also think the game often speaks for itself in most cases of spectacular skill, and hudson often ends up ruining these moments. One of my favorite thing in sports is to hear the crowd go silent in anticipation and then collectively erupt in celebration to a goal. This beautiful moment is constantly destroyed by Hudsons terrible voice screeching into the microphone and calling everyone a “god” and a “genius”. Hudson needs to get over himself and learn how to commentate, or just quit.

  • Omar Smith

    Ray Hudson is the most unprofessional commentator I’ve ever listened to, he is absolutely horrible!!! I had to listen to his insensitive remarks about my culture in the Copa America. I’m Jamaicans and was was proud to watch my team play and play very well, but I had to listen Ray Hudson insulting almost racist commentary. The whole beIn sport crew is terrible but Ray Hudson is just unbearable.

  • I’m mostly a BPL fan, but I appreciate BEIN’s coverage of Copa America, etc, but Ray Hudson, in a word….Brutal!! I was fine with his shtick for a couple of weeks, but those noises, snorts, orgasmic sounds, sucking his teeth, with that illiterate raspy Geordie accent makes my brain hurt. I have to go back and forth between Spanish and English audio just to be able to enjoy the game. I’m dreading Saturday’s El Clasico commentary, especially if Messi is playing, because Hudson’s “man crush” verbals are just creepy!

  • Anton Nieber

    Ray ‘Nutson’ Hudson is ‘magisterially’ atrocious. I turn the volume off. He’s like the annoying drunk geezer at the pub that loves the sound of his own voice. I hope he gets 86’d!

  • Mark Kozuma

    Ray Hudson has to go. The only way I can watch the match is with the sound off. Amateurish, odd noises, high pitched voice, unbearable. Ruins the game.

  • Mike G.

    Love Ray and his albeit abuse of the language but he is entertaining. Phil Schoen on the other hand has to go, he knows nothing of the game and is so monotone that you think you are at a wake instead of a match. For Ray there are only two players in the football world: magisterial Messi and the Dark Vader CR7. Ray does add entertainment but Phil couldn’t get a foul right if it happened to him. BeIn sports can do better, get rid of Phil Schoen he is the reason I turn my volume down.

  • MariaE

    Ray Hudson is awesome! Love his comments, and no I am not new to soccer.

  • Hans Peersman

    Worst. Commentator. Ever.

  • Hudsonhawk

    Ahh the nauseating muddle classes discussing anything football related.

  • Anthony

    I am so glad you wrote this article. I have to turn the volume off (like others have mentioned) he irritates me to no end.
    The worst part is how he interrupts and speaks over his co-commentator who has less idiotic things to say.

  • Terry G

    A litany of foul smelling garbage from the Hudson hole.You the management should listen to this tosser, with his diarrhea of crap.Ruins the game. Will be cancelling my subscription like many to come. Let me know when this virus is removed.

  • yaba

    He needs to STFU. Im sure he is a nice guy in private and all but give us a damn break. So tired of him thinking he is the master of metaphor and “PASSIONATE”. Most of metaphors are weird sexual stuff my grandpa would say in private. I don’t need to be hearing an old Englishman having an orgasm every time there is goal or just moaning like a girl when there isn’t one. Most American announcers are horrible and exaggerate when it comes to soccer. Like the other white guy who tries to imitate the Spanish announcers ‘Gooooooaaaaalllll’ We need better announcers who don’t make the beautiful game so annoying. No more orgasms please!!!!

  • Soccer Limey

    I always believe that analysts should teach the viewer something about the sport or the match we’re watching. Hudson teaches me nothing ..except that I need to turn the sound. His never-ending stream of drivel cheapens the sport in my view ..but is generally typical of how beinSPORT runs its Channel

  • Want to Watch not Put up with some ego.

    I call him the Screeching Shit!
    I cannot and do not watch matches where the constantly constipated one screeches.

  • mario m

    ray hudson ruins the classico between barca and real madrid every single time. he sounds like a 98 year old and his analogies are so distracting and a waste of time. He may be doing this for free I guess.

  • Do BeIn broadcasters travel and broadcast live from the booth? It doesn’t seem like that do. It feels like they are in a central studio watching the camera feeds.

  • Ronza

    The metaphors are certainly entertaining! Over the top? Yes, but that’s precisely why they are entertaining.

    I will agree though that the loud AAAAAAhhhrgs and OOOooohs are too much and should be done away with. And yes, perhaps he should learn to respect his colleague and not always come across like he’s the only commentator. That said, you have hardly come across a more entertaining commentator.

    So I say remove the screeching aaaahhgr -because that is just pure noise- and not make every Messi pass “magic” or “magesterial” and you have a perfect commentator. He is knowledgeable as well as witty.

  • Mike Ashley

    What about the little man with the big bug eyes- Ozil— Hudson is a dreadful combo of Eddie Waring and the Geordie who did the darts- It’s about the game Ray not about you mate

  • Roger Joyce

    Ray Hudson has no place being a commentator/analyst he has to be the WORST I have ever heard. His screeching and talking over Phil Schoen is a disgrace. The metaphors are even worse..I now have to mute the commentary because of him.If you have to use him please use him somewhere else NOT Barcelona or Real Madrid commentaries.

  • Bert

    Hudson is great, Schoen a disaster. Get rid of Schoen, please – he just drones on and on with mindlessly dull information ad nauseam whilst beauty unfolds in front of him, which Hudson at least recognises and appreciates.

  • Shane

    Most of you are sounding like soccer snobs…and I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, but he attracts newer fans, only growing the game we all love, in this country.
    It’s about time they’ve recently split up Schoen and Hudson, as they ridiculously step over each other to make the goal call. To me, Hudson is the Dick Vitale of soccer – an overexuberant fan, not able to control his emotions when calling the games he loves so much. Yes, I can’t stand Vitale anymore, and Hudson may wear on me in time, but I’d take him over a boring announcer any match of the week.
    The bigger issues are the production values of BeIN and the fact they don’t send the announcers to the games. They are watching on TVs! Shameful.

  • Rolf

    Generally too many monotonous commentors. I always look forward to a big game with Ray and Phill. Ray’s passion always adds to the game for me, but once in a while his expressions get a little predictable. But any day give me his engaging commentating. I think Phil is fine.

  • Ivor

    Bein in North America has absolutely awfully abysmal commentators with the lunatic Ray Hudson taking things to an even more awful level. NBC does a better job with the staff actually on site at the game and not on another continent like Bein.
    TSN in Canada uses the English or NBC feed for their games and has credible studio staff giving pre post and halftime comments.
    Having watched a lifetime of football from various countries, Bein sets the standard for terrible commentary.

  • Stefano Delaveris

    It is because of the English commentary duo of Ray Hudson and Phil Schoen that I chose instead to pay $5 extra per month to watch/listen to the Spanish BeinSports programs. I’m not a Spanish speaker but prefer to listen to the commentary of a language I generally don’t understand over the ear-splittingly annoying play by play or the aforementioned English/American duo. My blood pressure rises when I hear Ray going off on a tangent that literally papers over the action on the pitch. It’s also incredibly unprofessional to have an announcer who often puts down his play by play partner.
    Martin Tyler is, without question, the greatest football commentator and Ray Hudson is an embarrassment.
    I hope BeinSports considers replacing this duo with announcers with high quality like Martin Tyler and Jon Champion. Ray Hudson should be forced to listen to Martin Tyler’s commentary on the 2015 UCL Semifinal matches between Barcelona and Bayern Munich. His reaction to Messi’s two goals in the first leg is PERFECTION!

  • Igli Xhaja

    Ray Hudson should not be commentating any games when Messi is playing. If Messi was taking a sh!t, he would be as enthusiastic as him scoring the winning goal of the El Classico. The most annoying commentating voice and comments of all time. Turning off the volume or watching a different game are the only options.

  • If Hudson just stopped screeching when goals are nearly scored (that’s our job, as spectators, not his, as a commentator) I would simply find his over-worked alliterations amusing, if a little much. With the screeching, the whole thing becomes basically unwatchable. I turn the volume off.

  • Tyler

    I am done with Bein Sports. Ray Hudson made me stop watching anything from La Liga to any game he does. He ruins the beautiful game. its UNWATCHABLE. And the american broadcaster has done double that. No knowledge of the game, the constant breakaway of Serie A has left me to leave this channel forever. If it was not for Npower I would cancel the subscription. Horrible what they did to this game…….

  • Rick Jones

    Ray Hudson and Phil Shoes are terrible. They cannot shut up. An endless stream of inane comments. Completely ruin the viewing of any game.

  • Roger

    Once again I see BEIN sport continue to use Hudson for the Barca and RMadrid games. Why cant he be moved to the French league or Italian league. That way we don’t have to listen to his drivel and stupid metaphors..I see he now has started singing to the Barco anthem,please BEIN sport remove him for ever. He hasn’t a clue regarding the modern game.

  • Roger

    I have just heard the worst commentary (or lack of it) from Hudson it was the Brazil vs Austria game.All they did was discuss how good Brazil was 40-50 years ago not commentate about what they are being paid for.
    If they are being paid …then bEIN Sport should ask for their money back. Do we have to go through another season of this drivel. The ” Muppets” need to be fired and quick.

  • David

    I am old. So old that I remember Dizzy Dean announcing baseball games. He could not put 3 words together without using slang or incorrect grammar. He was, however, extremely entertaining and added a tremendous amount to the game I was watching. I feel the same about Ray Hudson. He is magisterial in his commentary. Perhaps the women are complaining. I am a single man so their opinions don’t influence my opinions.

  • Edward

    I do not know what Ray is talking about most of the time. Worst ever.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Post of the Week