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Arena for Media in 2010?

  • SI.com, Friday, July 21, 2006 3:18 PM
In 2010, it could be Bruce Arena's voice we hear behind the mic leading Disney's World Cup coverage. SI.com chatted with Tim Scanlan, ESPN's senior coordinating producer, about the network's performance in Germany 2006, and he said if the opportunity presented itself he would strongly consider using Arena. Sour-faced Arena? Why? "Because he always has opinionsand he definitely would give me opinions on our commentators," Scanlan said. In fact, the pair have already spoken. His answer: "Yeah...I would not say no." Opinionated, intelligent guys who know the game are always good as commentators, so SI says Arena would make a good fit, but what about this year's announcers? They didn't receive very good reviews. Baseball commentator Dave O'Brien was panned by both the media and die-hard fans as lead commentator for the World Cup. Lead analyst and national team veteran Marcelo Balboa didn't receive much love, either. SI said Balboa "would be relegated to Serie C if he were an Italian soccer team." Scanlan was coy about what ESPN plans to do about O'Brien and Balboa: "We're going to review everything. Dave O'Brien signed a long-term deal, and given the success of the ratings...." Scanlan says that O'Brien is getting better; in fact, he got noticeably better as the tournament wore on. He is contracted to call MLS games for the next year, at which point they will reevaluate the four-year deal. SI says John Harkes and J.P. Dellacamera proved to be the best team. Eric Wynalda was cocky but "electric" said Scanlan. So expect those guys to stay on.

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