ESPN2 and ABC to Broadcast Star-Studded FIFA World Cup™ Kick-off Celebration Concert

SoccerWorld Cup

ESPN2 and ABC to Broadcast Star-Studded FIFA World Cup™ Kick-off Celebration Concert

To tweet this release:

Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Shakira among global superstars performing at event to kick off historic FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa

ESPN Inc.’s unprecedented coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ from South Africa will kick off before the games even begin when ESPN2 broadcasts complete live coverage of the FIFA World Cup™ Kick-Off Celebration Concert from Soweto/Johannesburg on Thursday, June 10 beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. ESPN Worldcup Small

The three-hour concert, considered the biggest entertainment event to date in South Africa, celebrates the arrival of the first-ever FIFA World Cup™ on the African continent and will take place at 30,000-seat Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg. Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Shakira and Juanes will perform live on ESPN2 alongside, and in collaboration with, popular African artists, with a specially-produced highlight presentation of the concert airing in primetime on ABC, Friday, June 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

“ESPN Inc. is committed to bringing fans the most complete and entertaining coverage possible from this historic World Cup in Africa,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions. “This concert will be a celebration of South Africa’s rich cultural history and its connection to the world, one that viewers throughout America will surely want to experience on the eve of the World Cup.”

Sal Masekela, ESPN’s 2010 FIFA World Cup human interest reporter and the co-host of The Daily 10 on E!, will be the on-site host of ESPN2’s presentation of the concert. Sal’s father, legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela, will also perform during the concert, as will the Soweto Gospel Choir, each of whom have made special musical contributions to enhance ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the World Cup.

The concert lineup also features popular African performers including Amadou & Mariam, Angélique Kidjo, BLK JKS, K’Naan, Lira, Mzansi Youth Choir, The Parlotones, Tinariwen, Vieux Farka Touré and Vusi Mahlasela.

The FIFA World Cup™ Kick-Off Celebration Concert is executive-produced by Kevin Wall and his company, Control Room, the leading producer of massive global music events.

“We’re thrilled the concert will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ABC because it brings this once-in-a-lifetime cultural event to audiences across the country,” said Wall.  “The combination of international and African star power, along with special appearances by soccer legends past and present, ensures this is a must-see event.”


ESPN Inc.’s 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ 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 more than 50 million homes, will feature live English-language simulcasts of matches on ESPN and ESPN2. ESPN Mobile TV will show all matches. ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language all sports network, will air more than 50 matches in Portuguese live in the U.S., and ESPN Radio will broadcast all 64 matches.

Additionally, ESPN will present 2010 FIFA World Cup ( television studio programming from on-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.

For more information about ESPN Inc.’s coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, please visit


About ESPN

ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic & ESPN Deportes), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU & ESPNEWS HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio,, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including (Broadband, formerly, ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.


About Control Room

Founded by Emmy-award winning producer Kevin Wall and headed by company president and co-executive producer Aaron Grosky, Control Room is the world’s leading producer of massive global events leveraging unparalleled expertise to deliver once-in-a-life time entertainment experiences to audiences around the world.  Through a combination of expertise – event production, television production, media architecture design, artist and celebrity relationships, sponsorship development, and creative vision – Control Room evolves events into cultural phenomena.

Control Room is an end-to-end solution for brands, artists, broadcasters and sponsors committed to connecting global audiences with compelling entertainment.  The company has built long-standing business relationships and successfully navigated the complexities of culture, government, and production in countries in every region of the world. 


— 30 —

Back to top button