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Darke named ESPN's lead World Cup commentator
January 8th, 2014 1:18PM

TAGS:  television, world cup 2014


[SOCCER ON THE AIR] Ian Darke, ESPN’s lead voice for international soccer since 2010, will be the lead play-by-play commentator for ESPN during the 2014 World Cup. He'll call, among other matches, all U.S. games in Brazil.

Following his work for ESPN during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Darke joined the network full-time, moving from London-based Sky Sports.

Darke also called the 2011 Women's World Cup and Euro 2012. He called English Premier League games on ESPN until NBC Sports' acquisition of the EPL rights this season. He now covers the EPL as the lead soccer commentator for BT Sport.

“Since Ian emerged as our year-round signature voice for soccer, his commentary has elevated our presentation of the sport to new heights,” said Jed Drake, senior vice president and executive producer.  “His experience, authenticity and passion resonate tremendously well with our viewers, who have come to expect the highest-quality soccer commentary from ESPN.”

ESPN also announced that Martin Tyler, the company’s lead English-language commentator for the 2010 World Cup, won't be returning in 2014. They have mutually agreed to end their relationship.

  1. Nancy Jones
    commented on: January 9, 2014 at 8:45 a.m.
    Tell me you are joking! We tune in to watch the game, not to listen to his inane remarks. Can't tell you how many times I has turned the sound off so I could enjoy the game. You can do better!
  1. Garrett Isacco
    commented on: January 9, 2014 at 10:28 a.m.
    Love it. Ian Darke is knowledgeable and doesn't talk down to US fans. I find his commentary to be excellent. Too bad about Martin Tyler - he is as good as they come. (Thank God there is no more Jack Edwards or Dave O'Brien.)
  1. Margaret Manning
    commented on: January 9, 2014 at 10:46 a.m.
    Nooooooooooooo! His nonstop irrelevant chit-chat drives me nuts! He picks up a silly media meme and runs it into the ground. Drinking games based on his work could ruin the livers of many fans. And all the while he is supposedly doing play-by-play rather than color. Give me Arlo White and Taylor Twellman. Another summer of watching games without sound.
  1. Kent James
    commented on: January 9, 2014 at 1:34 p.m.
    Although I'm not a fan of the deference US networks pay to commentators with English accents, I think Ian Darke is quite good.
  1. Zoe Willet
    commented on: January 10, 2014 at 1:39 a.m.
    I appreciate Ian Darke very much, finding him informative, but in a low-key, unobtrusive way. My all-time favorite soccer commentator, however, is Christopher Sullivan, who just seems to have disappeared fro the face of the earth. I did see him once several months ago (I forget the game) and he looked awful, like he was recovering from some horrible illness. I would really like to know what the story is here. He seems to know more about soccer- and not just in England!- than anyone, and teaches in a respectful way (unlike Brian D., who talks down, as though teaching kindergarten).

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