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Andy Gray and Richard Keys Added to Fox Soccer Channel World Cup Coverage

richard keys andy gray Andy Gray and Richard Keys Added to Fox Soccer Channel World Cup Coverage

Fox Soccer Channel is adding Sky Sports personalities Andy Gray and Richard Keys to its summer coverage of the World Cup, according to Multichannel News.

The move is surprising because few anticipated Fox would feature such high-profile talent to host its World Cup program, “Ticket To South Africa,” especially since Fox Soccer Channel will not be showing any of the games. Four years ago, during World Cup 2006, Fox Soccer Channel hosted a similar show from its studio in Los Angeles and included talent such as Cobi Jones, Christopher Sullivan, Bobby McMahon and Nick Webster in its build-up and analysis of that World Cup.

In 2010, “Ticket To South Africa” will feature Richard Keys in his customary role as host of the program (he also hosts Super Sunday in England for Sky Sports) which kicks off on June 10, the opening day of the World Cup and will be broadcast live each night after the final game of the day concludes.

Alongside Keys will be a familiar face (and voice) to both US and British soccer viewers, and that’s Andy Gray – the Scottish co-commentator who is best known for his role alongside Martin Tyler on the preeminent Premier League matches. During Euro 2008, ESPN hired Gray to provide expert coverage of the tournament.

Together with Keys and Gray will be pundits Christopher Sullivan and Warren Barton. The article in Multichannel News is vague in terms of whether Gray and Keys will be conducting their part of the show from South Africa, but the story does allude to the fact that some FSC personalities will be at the World Cup.

fox soccer channel1 Andy Gray and Richard Keys Added to Fox Soccer Channel World Cup CoverageComplementing “Ticket To South Africa” on Fox Soccer Channel will be a new program named “Passport To South Africa.” According to Multichannel news, the nine-episode series of 30-minute studio talks shows will focus on the 32 nations competing for the FIFA title, breaking down each country’s group, how it qualified and its chances to take home the crown.

While “Ticket To South Africa” will analyze each day of the World Cup and preview the next matches, “Passport to South Africa” will debut January 18 at 9:30 pm ET and will feature in-depth analysis, features and predictions from FSC’s commentators, including Sullivan, Barton and Bobby McMahon, plus special guests.

A key piece of news regarding both programs is that they’ll both be recorded in high-definition. Does that mean that Fox Soccer Channel may be available on DirecTV or other satellite or cable providers in time for the debut of “Passport To South Africa” on January 18? We’ll have to wait and see.

What’s your opinion about Gray and Keys being added to Fox Soccer Channel’s line-up? And will you watch the daily program now that these two personalities are included? Click the comments link below to share your feedback.

UPDATE: According to a Fox Soccer Channel representative, Andy Gray and Richard Keys will be in the Los Angeles studio, while there will be a team of Fox Soccer Channel staff on site in South Africa reporting on the World Cup.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

20 Responses to Andy Gray and Richard Keys Added to Fox Soccer Channel World Cup Coverage

  1. Jean-Christian says:

    Sounds like a worthwhile prematch show lineup. It’s certainly a more formidable team than any group ESPN had to offer during their last two major tournaments. (Rob “Two Shoots” Stone was particularly appalling.) In addition, the HD news is promising. Great news all around.

  2. I applaud Fox for using their connections with Sky to land some quality pundits like Gray and Keys. I’d say I’m more likely to watch the Fox programming now, though it will be hard to resist my daily fix of World Cup MOTD.

  3. Actually…did the BBC retain rights to show World Cup matches and highlights in England? I can’t remember.

  4. Chris says:

    darn, i wanted him to go to espn and commentate with martin tyler.

  5. robert says:

    awwww… no max bretos? i’m crestfallen. with the right herbal medication he’s as comical as a mystery science theater 3000 episode. without? well… good call fox. good call.

  6. Albertinho says:

    Agree with Chris, I too was hoping ESPN would sign him again and pair him with Martin Tyler during the World Cup.

    • Simon Burke says:

      Oddly enough Tyler and Gray arent doing a lot together on Sky – not sure if they fell out but they are definitely being split up a lot more.

  7. Panda says:

    Did they ever announce who Tyler’s partner is going to be? Any guesses as to who now? I’m fairly certain it won’t be a short, fat, bald man… Efan Ekoku wouldn’t sound so bad.

  8. Tim says:

    Would have prefered they go to to ESPN for the World Cup as I don’t think the FSC show is that good (from 2006) as they could not even show highlights.

  9. Thumbs up to Keys, thumbs down to Gray.

    I certainly hope Gray demonstrates more knowledge of world football beyond players that are Prem based than he did in 2008. His lack of knowledge of Serie A and Bundesliga based players was appalling. Some simple prep time could solve that, this go round.

  10. Martin says:

    “that’s Andy Gray – the Scottish co-commentator who is best known for his role alongside Martin Tyler IN FIFA 10″

    /fixed

  11. Mark says:

    Richard ‘hairy hands’ Keys is a not an analyst as he knows very little about the game of football despite anchoring for nearly 20 years. He’s a fool. All he does is ask stupid question and tries to be a s**t stirrer. Any chance FSC can take both him and Jamie Redknapp off Sky’s hands?

    • Pete says:

      Agree, The guy (Richard Keys) is an idiot. He knows nothing about the game. I suppose all the stupid questions he asked Andy Gray on Sky makes Gray look better but that’s it. He is a host who knows very little, I don’t why they (FSC) would bother bringing in him. Surely there would be lots of hosts in America who know as much as he does, waste of time and money in my opinion. I for one hope he stays over there (America) as I can’t stand to look at his stupid face and hear that stupid laugh that he has.

      • Simon Burke says:

        Jesus no, I have to watch football over here and not having Keys is one of the best things that happened when I left England. You get him back in July to massage Jamie’s ego.

  12. nick says:

    great news about the additions, i just cant understand why chris sullivan is still a part of it. he brings nothign to the table, has an annoying voice, and gets his facts wrong pretty regularly.

  13. Harvey says:

    Americans just like him for the same reason that they assume football knowledge is always accompanied by a British accent – it’s not. Football punditry could stand to take a pointer or two from the more relevant American approach.

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