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JP Dellacamera Demoted From TV to Radio Coverage of World Cup

espn logo JP Dellacamera Demoted From TV to Radio Coverage of World Cup

In a blow to the growth of US-born commentators in this country, ESPN revealed today the names of the four lead announcers for its TV coverage of the 2010 World Cup. All four of them are British born.

The lead commentators are Martin Tyler (England), Derek Rae (Scotland), Ian Darke (England) and Adrian Healey (England). While Rae and Healey have commentated on games in the United States for years, both retain a very strong British accent as do Tyler and Harke who are veterans of the game in their homeland.

In all, ESPN will employ four teams to cover all 64 tournament games live from South Africa between June 11 and July 11, 2010.

ESPN also announced today that JP Dellacamera and Tommy Smyth will be handling the radio commentary of the World Cup for ESPN Radio, which means that the number one commentator for US games during the last few years – JP Dellacamera – will not be televising the games for television.

Even though Tyler and Darke are two of the best commentators in the world, and Rae and Healey are institutions in the United States, I’m extremely dismayed that ESPN has decided not to name an American among the four lead commentators. JP Dellacamera has put in a lot of hard work over the years to provide professional coverage of games involving the United States team, and I cannot believe he has been overlooked.

Soccer fans are very subjective when it comes to soccer commentators. People will either love them or hate them depending on a whole host of reasons. But even if ESPN didn’t want to put Dellacamera as a lead commentator to commentate on US games, why not choose someone else such as American Phil Schoen who has a considerable amount of experience?

I think it’s ridiculous that the lead TV commentator for games involving the United States will not be American. Yes, I’m sure ESPN will balance that by having a co-commentator who is American, but it’s not enough. In this particular instance, ESPN is trying too hard to deliver a world-class production. It needs to balance this with a US commentator that Americans can relate to.

This is a poor decision by ESPN.


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.
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