Ian Darke, one of the leading soccer commentators in the world, is reportedly in talks to join ESPN to be the voice of the Premier League in the United States.
Darke’s popularity rose to new heights during the summer of 2010 when he commentated several memorable World Cup broadcasts for ESPN. The most poignant of all was the United States’s historic win against Algeria when Landon Donovan scored the injury time winner to send the USA into the second round of the tournament. Darke’s “Go, Go USA!” remark will never be forgotten by many Americans.
It was Darke’s voice and enthusiasm which personified the World Cup for many viewers in the United States. While number one commentator Martin Tyler also was on ESPN’s team of experts, it was Darke who was the shining star and who did a better job of capturing the emotions rather than the subdued, but eloquent, Tyler. The Daily Mail newspaper is reporting that Darke was offered a three-year contract.
While ESPN hasn’t officially announced the signing of Darke, it looks likely that the English commentator will join ESPN to commentate on Premier League games for ESPN in the States. If that happens, it’ll be a surreal experience having an English lead commentator being the voice of ESPN’s Premier League coverage when we’re used to only hearing the international feed. However, it’ll definitely bridge the gap between the analysts in the studio and the game itself. Whether it’s entirely necessary, we’ll have to wait to see how it’s done. But without a doubt, if it happens, the signing of Darke is a massive coup for ESPN and shows the commitment they’re making to make the Premier League a household name in the United States.
Hat tip: SS Reporters.