Duncan Oughton joins TV broadcast team
The Columbus Crew announced today that all 34 of its MLS regular-season matches will be televised live for the fifth straight season in 2011, and that Duncan Oughton will join the “Voice of the Crew,” Dwight Burgess, in the TV booth as the primary color analyst on ONN’s regional telecasts.
ONN will broadcast 32 regular-season Crew games this season – home and away – starting with First Kick 2011 at D.C. United on Saturday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. ONN, Ohio’s channel for news, weather, sports and lifestyles programming, remains the Crew’s exclusive regional broadcast partner through the 2011 season.
The Crew is scheduled to appear twice on FOX Soccer Channel national broadcasts, vs. FC Dallas on Friday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m., and at Colorado on Friday, Aug. 5, at 9:30 p.m. (ET). The premier soccer-only channel in North America, FOX Soccer has been a national broadcast partner of MLS since 2003.
Oughton, a Crew icon who was the longest-serving player in club history, announced his retirement after 10 seasons in Black & Gold earlier this month. His transition into the front office as assistant to the technical director includes responsibilities in a variety of functional areas, including community relations, alumni relations, digital content, fan relations and youth player development, in addition to his TV duties.
Oughton moves into the analyst role previously shared by Bill McDermott and Dante Washington, both of whom the club envisions being considered primary options when scheduling conflicts arise.
“We are excited to have Duncan join our broadcast team,” said Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers. “He knows the game and the club, and his wit and personality are made for TV. I have no doubt that our fans will enjoy his commentary.
“At the same time, I want to thank Bill and Dante. They have done tremendous jobs in their own right, and I look forward to continuing relationships with both of them. They are good people and true professionals, but the TV responsibilities were a vital component of Duncan’s new role, which is a position the organization needed to create at this time.”
Over the course of his storied career in Black & Gold, Oughton was a part of all five major trophies won by the club and made history by becoming one of the first athletes in any sport to come back from an experimental surgical procedure in which his own cartilage was grown in a lab and reimplanted in his knee, while becoming one of the most beloved figures in club history.
“I'm excited to join the broadcast team and throw in my two cents,” Oughton said. “Hopefully the fans will enjoy what I have to say. Bill [McDermott] and Dante [Washington] have done a great job and I am sure I’ve learned a lot from them without even trying, because they were both very good with their unique styles. Dante is a very close friend of mine, so I will definitely be hitting him up for hints and advice throughout the season.”
A 33-year-old native of Wellington, New Zealand, Oughton was originally selected by Columbus in the first round of the 2001 MLS SuperDraft (No. 10 overall) and spent his entire professional career wearing Black & Gold, appearing in 136 matches (10th in club history) and logging over 9,000 minutes, while scoring three goals and recording 13 assists. He was also a longtime member of his national team, having been capped 22 times by the All Whites, as New Zealand is known, which he also remarkably returned to following the knee injury.