The folks at ESPN are holding good on their promises to bring unrivaled coverage stateside this summer as the World Cup descends upon an eager nation. With HD television broadcasts on the ESPN family of networks set to cover every one of the 64 matches throughout the tournament, unsatisfied fans can now turn their eyes to multiple online platforms and are sure to get fat on ESPN’s digital offerings.
Online, mobile, social media, fantasy, games and digital audio will all be incorporated with daily news, analysis and fan interaction by ESPN coupled with their pristine HD TV coverage for the entire month of the World Cup which is brilliant news for soccer fans the world over.
ESPN Digital Media senior vice president and general manager John Kosner was quoted as saying, “With the advent of social media and digital convergence in full stride, we expect the 2010 FIFA World Cup on ESPN to be the most watched, talked about, read and listened to tournament of the year”. ESPN’s goal? To provide sports fans “every ways and means of experiencing and connecting with other fans for this global event on multiple platforms”.
- What’s on Offer?
Fans will have access to all 64 matches when on the go with mobile TV and ESPNRadio.com (more on those in a minute). ESPN3.com, sure to receive record traffic, will offer 54 matches in a new format featuring enhanced viewing options, milestone markers, customizable widgets with exclusive stats, scores, schedules and more.
Other new features are chat, Social Media (update your Facebook and Twitter status), a multi-language option allowing viewers to check out games in five different languages (Portuguese, German, Arabic, Japanese and Korean) and much more.
The “Key Plays” feature – where viewers will be able to jump to key moments in matches such as goals or cards issued is sure to impress. Make sure to check out ESPN3.com to view all the great features when matches go live.
ESPN Mobile will be massive this summer as many a soccer fan will be stuck behind the dull and dread of the office when the best athletes on the planet compete for glory. Not to worry, with ESPN Mobile, fans have access to apps, text alerts and mobile video services. ESPN Mobile will offer all 64 matches on mobile platforms nationwide. AT&T Mobile TV, FLO TV, MobiTV, Sprint TV and Verizon VCAST platforms will carry 56 matches live in the U.S., while AT&T Mobile TV will carry the other 8 live matches on a World Cup dedicated channel.
The current ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup app will have an optional one time upgrade for $7.99 which will allow fans to access new and enhanced features like live play by play, live audio, live commentary, live scoring alerts, breaking news alerts, news by team alerts, and in game video highlights. The upgrade will also include Social Media integration as fans will be able to share favorite teams and stories through Facebook and Twitter. For those outside of the US, an international version of the app will be available sometime in early June.
Mobile Games will be important this summer as fans look to bridge the time between matches and at the end of the day with a little electronic footie of their own. Three new games will be published by ESPN during the World Cup to quench this very thirst.
- ESPN Shootout – Score or defend as many goals as you can in different 3-D game modes.
- ESPN Pinball – a classic version decked out for the World Cup
- ESPN Trivia – Test your Wold Cup knowledge with over 200 hundred questions complete with player photos as the questions get tougher as you progress.
As previously mentioned, ESPNRadio.com will (you guessed it) be offering all 64 matches via the new super stream whcih can be sampled here. For those still on the go who like their radio feed, you need look no further than the ESPN Radio app which is now ready for purchase at $4.99 in the app store. Tommy Smyth and JP Dellacamera are a few of the recognizable voices you’ll hear at ESPNRadio.com.
Soccer fans will have a plethora of choices at their disposal when it comes to web browsing for news articles concerning the World Cup. Besides the brilliant news and analysis one can receive from the EPL Talk and World Cup Buzz family of networks, ESPNSoccernet.com/WorldCup will be offering blogs, coverage from on the ground in South Africa, and loads more.
Entry to different ESPN fantasy games will soon go live where footie fans will be able to compete against family and friends. The games include:
ESPNSoccernet Bracket Predictor: players will select which two teams they think will advance out of each of the eight groups. The order selected, 1st or 2nd, will determine where they are placed in the next round of 16 bracket. Users will then predict the winner of the 15 bracket matches throughout the Finals. Sign-ups are currently open for this game by taking the link above and picks will all lock when the first ball is kicked on Friday, June 11. The winner will receive a U.S. $5,000 cash prize and daily prizes will also be awarded. Good luck.
ESPN Soccer Pick ‘Em: players can sign up now for this pick ‘em game where players accumulate the most points by correctly selecting the “winning pick” for each of the 64 matches. Daily and overall prizes will be awarded.
ESPNSoccernet World Fantasy: available in both English and Spanish, players of this fantasy game compete against other friends and foes across the world by selecting a 15-player squad from the 32 competing nations. Managers then choose their starting 11 during each “Gameweek” of the tournament. The participant with the most points after the Final wins a Soccer Holiday.
There ya have it. If you can think of something ESPN missed in their unprecedented and dedicated coverage, be sure to leave a respectable idea in the comments section below. Also, feel free to let other readers of EPL Talk know what you’re most looking forward to and how and when you’ll use the new digital offerings in keeping up with the World Cup this summer.
Jesse can be contacted on Twitter @JesseChula