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ESPN has big plans for South Africa
by Paul Kennedy, July 1st, 2009 7AM



[WORLD CUP 2010] Indicative of the importance it places on the World Cup, ESPN will be sending a trio of top-tier ESPN hosts, Chris Fowler, Bob Ley and Mike Tirico to serve as on-site studio hosts from Johannesburg for next year's World Cup.

In sharp contrast to the Confederations Cup, during which ESPN had its in-game commentators broadcast from studios at its Bristol, Conn., headquarters, South Africa 2010 will mark the first time in ESPN's 30-year history that the entirety of its World Cup studio programming will originate on location from the site of the host country.

Studio programming will include a nightly World Cup Live 30-minute show, as well as pre- and post-game and halftime shows and SportsCenter programming.
"Presenting all live studio programming from site in South Africa during the World Cup will allow us to fully capture the event's key storylines and provide the right context for fans to experience the world's most popular sport on its biggest stage," said Mark Gross, senior vice president and managing editor, ESPN studio production.  "Much like our on-site coverage of the Super Bowl, NBA Finals and other marquee events, this month-long commitment reflects the popularity of the FIFA World Cup in the U.S. and globally, and the historic nature of this event in Africa for the first time ever."

ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will combine to present high definition coverage of all 64 matches of the World Cup June 11-July 11, 2010.

World Cup on ESPN
Germany '06 - All 64 matches live and in high definition
Korea/Japan '02 - 58 ESPN and ESPN2 matches live (six tape-delayed broadcasts on ABC)
France '98 - ESPN 27, ESPN2 23 and ABC Sports 14 - all 64 matches live
USA '94 - ESPN, 41, and ABC, 11 - all 52 matches
Mexico '86 - ESPN, 15 matches (U.S. cable television rights)
Spain '82 - ESPN, 7 matches


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