ESPN’s World Cup 2010 TV Schedule
Now that the World Cup is over, US soccer fans can check out our weekly-updated weekend soccer TV schedule for listings of the top leagues and when the matches will be shown.
US sports broadcaster ESPN has released details of its World Cup 2010 television coverage. If you’re reading this from outside the US, you may not think this is big news. But for American soccer fans, it is. Here’s why:
In other countries, you can take it for granted that football is a big deal and so the World Cup will be treated accordingly by your broadcaster. Not so much in the USA. And so the quality of coverage given to the World Cup can be used a sort of yardstick for the progress of soccer in America.
In 2006, ESPN did a decentish job of actually putting the games on screen, but – without naming any names – the commentary and coverage left a lot to be desired. Here’s an interesting report on ESPN’s World Cup 2006 coverage from ESPN Ombudsman George Solomon. I watched several games on Univision, and I don’t speak Spanish.
ESPN released a statement yesterday, outlining its plans for World Cup 2010. And it looks like good news.
We already knew that Sky Sports legend Martin Tyler (pictured, above left) will be the lead commentator. Which is a coup. The man knows his business, so there will be no “Michael Beckham” faux pas this year. Yesterday ESPN also confirmed that:
1. All 64 matches will be broadcast live.
2. In high definition.
3. On either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC.
4. Some games will be shown in 3-D
Of those 64 matches, 52 will be simulcast online at ESPN3. Which means many many Americans with be able to either secretly or not so secretly watch games at work 100% legally and in high quality (although the service is only available via certain internet providers). The only games not simulcast will be those being screened on ABC only. In which case, all you need is a TV and some bunny ears.
ESPN have also confirmed that every World Cup 2010 match will get a pre-game, half-time and post-game show, broadcast live and on location. As opposed to from Bristol, Connecticut. Teams coming out, national anthems and handshakes will all be broadcast. Which hasn’t always been the case.
Above the full ESPN World Cup 2010 TV schedule, image captured and pasted from this ESPN press release.
I’m cautiously optimistic that ESPN will get it right this time. What do you think, US soccer fans?
If you’re watching from the UK, you can watch all the World Cup matches on Sky+HD.
Other channels showing the World Cup around the world.