Ian Darke Joining ESPN to Become Voice of Premier League in USA, Reports Say

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.

19 thoughts on “Ian Darke Joining ESPN to Become Voice of Premier League in USA, Reports Say”

  1. Great news. I always felt that ESPN would develop their own group to bring the games to the US audience and hopefully get rid of the international feed. On site reporting by ESPN broadcasters would enhance the broadcast experience greatly for the audience.

    Now how about an American veteran of EPL player, ie: Brian McBride or Claudio Reyna to provide expert commentary ?

  2. So will do the ESPN 2 games on Saturday and/or Monday.. and do the Sky on Sunday? I would think he would be live at the match not I doubt he moves from England.

  3. Just an update to this story, he will be working with Steve McManaman on the Saturday and Monday games, USA internationals, and international tournaments such as Euro 2012.

    He has some boxing to do but after that he will be ESPN’s after that.

    1. Holy fudgeballs! This is fantastic! Never again will I casually roll out of bed at 8 AM saying “rats I miss the start of the EPL on ESPN, oh well.” and then go back to sleep. SSReporters, any timetable for his coming.

      1. He has some boxing assignments to finish up and I assume he goes over.

        BTW since he’s doing USA games I assume JP Dellacamera either has another big demotion covering the MNT or they split.

    2. No not McManaman. There goes the show. He is still crying over England’s World Cup performance. I expect he won’t get over it until the 2018 World Cup.

  4. Will Darke also do work for ESPN UK as he also could call Bundesliga and Serie A games on Sunday’s and also call Europa Cup games on Thursdays as ESPN UK has the rights to those 3 competitions?

    I wonder if he is staying over in the UK or if he will move to the US and call games off a monitor. It would be my wish if he does end up calling games from here in the US on Saturdays if ESPN would have him call games on Sundays on ESPN Deportes using the SAP option. It’s a shame that ESPN doesn’t make use of the SAP option giving American soccer fans a chance to listen to games in English on Deportes like Fox Sports Espanol does for select games. ESPN is already producing English language commentary for their world feed. I can’t imagine it being that heard to use that commentary on the games that are shown on Deportes.

    Pretty good grab for ESPN as they continue to invest in the game here in the States and world wide.

  5. I’m not sure why, but having announcers call games off a monitor seems lame to me. Are the announcers who do the Premiership games that are broadcast in the US on Fox and ESPN actually at the games or are they watching it on a monitor?

  6. This is amazing news! I wasn’t that excited when I saw the US match because too many people at my work ruined the result for me, but his call in the Netherlands match, “That’s an absolute firecracker”! just sent chills up my spine.

  7. does this mean that espn will start showing live monday matches on tv and we don’t get bumped for quality programming such as outside the lines and sports nation?

  8. A big football fan, I record a lot of games to watch later. It is very irritating to have my subsequent enjoyment of a game spoiled by commentators who insist in announcing ongoing scores from other matches.

    Why do they do it, what possible purpose does it serve?

    There are plenty of resources available for those who want to know such scores, I really do wish the commentators would stop it !!

    I also wish there was a way of contacting the likes of Ian Darke to ask him to stop…..

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