ESPN Play-by-Play Announcers for 2010 FIFA World Cup

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ESPN Play-by-Play Announcers for 2010 FIFA World Cup

Ian Darke, Adrian Healey and Derek Rae to join Martin Tyler to call all 64 matches live from South Africa

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Veteran international soccer television voices Ian Darke, Adrian Healey, and Derek Rae will join legend Martin Tyler in South Africa this summer as play-by-play match commentators for ESPN’s English-language coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the United States.  In all, ESPN will employ four teams to call all 64 tournament matches live from the host country, June 11 – July 11. 

Adrian Healey
Adrian Healey

Darke, who currently works for London-based Sky Sports, commentates on Barclays Premier League matches in the U.K. Healey handles ESPN International’s English-language coverage of Spain’s La Liga and hosts ESPN2 Barclays Premier League telecasts. Rae, who joined ESPN in 1994, is a familiar voice to ESPN viewers from his work on UEFA Champions League and other international matches.  

“The group of commentators we have assembled represents some of the finest English-language voices for televised soccer anywhere in the world,” said Jed Drake, ESPN’s executive producer, 2010 FIFA World Cup.  “They present the sport at its highest level and their first-hand knowledge of the players who will compete in the FIFA World Cup will greatly inform fans and enhance how we present this global event in the United States.” 

Tyler, who was previously announced as ESPN’s lead play-by-play commentator for the FIFA World Cup, is one of the most renowned voices of the sport and has broadcast every World Cup since 1978. He will be joined by a trio of announcers who have collectively called the most prestigious leagues and competitions in the world over the past two decades. 

Darke has handled play-by-play for English Premier League and Champions League matches since 1992, and he joins Tyler as one of the world’s most recognizable soccer voices. He joined Sky Sports in 1992 after 10 years covering soccer, boxing and other sports for BBC Radio and is also considered one of the UK’s most respected boxing broadcasters. Darke continues to commentate on Premier League games for Trans World International (TWI) and is a primary host of its weekly magazine show. 

Healey provides play-by-play commentary for ESPN International’s coverage of the UEFA Championship League, Spain’s La Liga, Italian Serie A, and English FA Cup matches.  He also handled play-by-play for ESPN’s live coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, as well as the network’s coverage of World Cup qualifiers and Euro 2008 qualifying matches.  Healey serves as a host of the popular soccer debate and discussion show ESPN Soccernet Press Pass and ESPN2’s Barclays Premier League prematch, halftime and postmatch segments. 

Rae was the lead English-language play-by-play voice on UEFA Champions League telecasts for the series’ 15 years (1994-95/2008-09) on ESPN in the U.S., and he handled play-by-play for ESPN’s critically-acclaimed coverage of the European Championships (Euro 2008) two years ago. Rae has served as a host of ESPN Soccernet Press Pass since 2003. The native of Aberdeen, Scotland, has travelled weekly to Europe to call Scottish Premier League matches for ESPN UK since August 2009.  Rae worked his first FIFA World Cup for the Scottish BBC in 1990. 

ESPN’s broadcast assignments for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – including the analyst pairings – will be announced later this spring. 

ESPN Inc.’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Coverage in the United States

South Africa 2010 will be ESPN’s seventh FIFA World Cup and coverage of the event promises to be the most comprehensive in company history.  ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will air all 64 matches live and in high definition., ESPN’s signature broadband network available in 41 million homes, will feature live English-language simulcasts of matches on ESPN and ESPN2.  ESPN Mobile TV will show 46 matches.  ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language all sports network, will air up to 40 matches in Portuguese live in the U.S. 

Additionally, ESPN will present 2010 FIFA World Cup television studio programming from site in South Africa, offering U.S. sports fans the most comprehensive news and information coverage throughout the month-long soccer showcase.  Studio coverage of the quadrennial global event will include SportsCenter segments, a nightly World Cup Live program, and prematch, halftime and postmatch shows, with additional studio programming and World Cup-branded segments, totaling more than 65 hours of coverage, originating from two sets in and around Johannesburg.

ESPN Coverage of Past FIFA World Cup Events:

Germany 2006 – All 64 matches live and in high definition

Korea/Japan 2002 – 58 ESPN and ESPN2 matches live (6 tape-delayed broadcasts on ABC)

France 1998 – All 64 matches live on ESPN (27), ESPN2 (23) and ABC Sports (14)

USA 1994 – All 52 matches – ESPN (41) and ABC (11)

Mexico 1986 – 15 matches on ESPN (U.S. cable television rights)

Spain 1982 – 7 matches on ESPN 

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