Sport Illustrated writer Richard Deitsch recently got the exclusive on all of the glorious details of ESPN’s World Cup 2014 coverage.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. All 64 matches will be broadcast live and in HD on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
2. More than 280 original hours of soccer coverage will air across ESPN platforms from June 12-July 13, 2014.
3. Next year’s coverage will also include a new 90-minute postgame (World Cup Live) show after each match. In 2010, it was a 30-minute show.
4. ESPN will air World Cup Primetime, which will include highlights from matches of the day and condense them into a two-hour show.
5. Segments of SportsCenter and ESPN FC, the new daily soccer show launching this August, will broadcast from Brazil.
6. ESPN haven’t confirmed the talent that will be commentating the games, but it’s likely to feature Martin Tyler, Ian Darke, Derek Rae and Adrian Healey.
7. The same applies to studio talent, but don’t be surprised if you see the World Cup 2010 studio team returning that will include Michael Ballack, Roberto Martinez, Steve McManaman and Alexi Lalas, as well as studio host Bob Ley.
8. ESPN’s studio that they’ll be using for the tournament will be set up at a resort in Rio. ESPN is building two studios at the location — one for ESPN and the other for ESPN Deportes. It promises to be a beautiful location, right on the beach with a view of Copacabana Beach as a backdrop.
9. ESPN will be working with ESPN Films on projects for the World Cup, as well as bringing back its video vignette series entitled I Scored A Goal In The World Cup Final.
This will be the last World Cup tournament ESPN will be broadcasting in the foreseeable future before FOX Sports broadcasts the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments.
Overall, ESPN is copying the format from the World Cup 2010 that worked so well for the network where they averaged 3.2 million viewers per game.
ESPN’s motto for 2014 seems to be if it ain’t broke, why fix it? For soccer fans, that’s wonderful news. And especially given the practically flawless coverage of the 2013 Confederations Cup by ESPN, it’s going to be another wonderful summer next year of first-rate TV coverage.