Starting for tomorrow’s game at Sky Blue FC, Utah Royals FC fans will notice a major change to how they watch and hear games.
The club will no longer broadcast games on KMYU or have ESPN 700 radio coverage. The next two games, which are on the road in New Jersey and Washington, will see feed from the NWSL, though still accessible on the KSL app. The last game, on September 8 against Chicago Red Stars, is likely to see the same treatment.
Why the change?
That’s a good question, and what we know is limited, but enough to form a conclusion. As of this week, Utah Royals FC just simply does not have a broadcast team and has canceled production for the remainder of the season.
Carla Swensen-Haslam, who joined the team as the media relations manager in January and worked as part of the broadcast team with Greg Wrubell, is starting law school at BYU this fall and will not work with the club after this week. Greg Wrubell’s role/departure, however, is not fully known, but based on his Twitter profile, that once mentioned his affiliation with the club, has been removed. It appears all of his work will be for BYU sports, as it always has been before joining the broadcast team for the Royals.
Well, that’s disappointing...
100 & 10%. There had been so much positive feedback on the TV and radio coverage for Royals’ games, both locally and nationally. Carla and Greg were passionate and knowledgeable about the teams, games, and players, and they really worked well together.
There was hope that the Royals had set a model for other NWSL teams to follow, to aim to have their own production/broadcast team that put the same level of professionalism and regard as Carla and Greg did along with the the quality of the broadcasts.
The league has faced criticism for its coverage for the past two seasons. Without a TV deal beyond the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime/ESPNews, fans had to rely on go90 (Verizon’s streaming service that ended in July) and the NWSL’s site, all of which have been prone to crashing and technical problems.
So yes, disappointing, indeed, especially when there is only three games left in the season.
Utah Royals FC take on Sky Blue FC tomorrow at 4:30 PM MT. Coverage will be available via nwslsoccer.com and the KSL app (via NWSL feed).
Wrubell, on Twitter, confirmed his involvement with the broadcast is ending.
Yes, she is starting law school, and yes, my primary job is elsehwere, but as to why the broadcasts ended, your presumptions are incorrect.— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) August 17, 2018
Thank you; I enjoyed doing the games and connecting with an invested fan base. Rest assured that I was prepared to carry out my commitment to the club.— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) August 17, 2018