Iranians without thick beards and turbans revisited American TV airwaves for the first time in eight years on Sunday, with a matchup against Mexico live from Guadalajara. Okay, Nuremberg. Same damn thing.
The pre-game show on ABC was hosted by Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Match play-by-play presented by Henry Kissinger alongside color commentator Alan Dershowitz. On-field reporting from Pat Robertson.
Well something like that.
On Monday the U.S. team entered TV-equipped homes in Iran, as they opened up against the Czechs. No word on who the persian broadcast team was over there. But you know they mentioned this gem before Team USA ended up getting nailed in the nuts, 3-0.
That game was televised live in Iran in full terrestrial bliss. In fact all 64 games will be, which usually wouldn't be a big deal but this year it makes the feat an anomaly. Especially in that region.
Being the well-oiled rogue state that it is, Iranian officials are bucking yet another global trend by making the games all available to the public without paying serious cash for it. The only price paid for the state-run telecasts might be the time-delays to allow censors to clear out all images of attractive women and expressions of individual spontaneity.
In a world awash with media-access discrepancies, this is the first World Cup where relaxed FIFA rules on mandatory telecasts by TV rights-holders have come crashing down on the little man, allowing corporate media mo-ghouls space to run amok.
No region has felt the brunt effect of this more than the good people of the MiddlEast. From Israel to Palestine to Lebanon, Morocco to Egypt, Jordan to Iraq, finding a telecast has been as laborious as finding WMDs .
A saving grace could come from a Middleastern-based World Cup corporate sponsor. One just needs to travel a few miles to access the signal.