ESPN Hire Jon Champion and Daniel Mann As World Cup 2014 Commentators

ESPN has hired British commentators Jon Champion and Daniel Mann for its coverage of World Cup 2014, according to an AP report. The English duo will join Derek Rae, Ian Darke, Fernando Palomo and Adrian Healey on the commentator team that will be announcing the games live from Brazil.

For fans of the English Premier League, Champion and Mann are familiar voices that can often be found announcing games each weekend. During the 2010 World Cup, Champion worked for ITV while Mann announced many of the games for the 3D World Cup broadcasts, including those on ESPN’s 3D channel.

Mann made his Premier League commentating debut in 2010. Champion, meanwhile, has been commentating on English football games since the late ’80s. This will be Champion’s 7th World Cup, but his first announcing for a US network.

While Champion and Mann are joining the team of ESPN announcers, the familiar voices of Rae, Darke, Palomo and Healey will round out ESPN’s coverage of the tournament.

ESPN won’t be throwing Champion into the “deep end” with its World Cup coverage. The former ESPN UK commentator will announce the US-Azerbaijan friendly for ESPN on May 27. Champion will also be the commentator for four pre-season friendlies this summer that will air on ESPN.

The acquisition of Champion and Mann is another smart move by ESPN. It shows that the Worldwide Leader In Sports is focused on hiring qualified announcers who are skilled at what they do, and aren’t afraid to share their opinions (especially Champion).

For its coverage of World Cup 2014, here’s what we know so far in regards to the commentating teams:

Ian Darke will commentate the opening game and final,

• For the group matches featuring the US Men’s National Team, Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman will be the commentators,

• For the games featuring England, Ian Darke and Steve McManaman will be the announcers,

Fernando Palomo will announce the Mexico games,

Jon Champion will commentate 9 first round games.

Commentator assignments for the second round to the semi-final will be announced at a later date.

18 thoughts on “ESPN Hire Jon Champion and Daniel Mann As World Cup 2014 Commentators”

  1. YES IAN AND MACCA! One last time! I will have to make sure i catch englands 3 games.

    And hopefully we wont have to hear twellman after the usa go 3 and out. And (maybe im getting too greedy here) he can take Lalas with him.

  2. Great news. Two top commentators. ESPN going out in style. If it’s half as good as 2010 then we are in for a treat.

  3. ESPN treating fans with respect…

    Veteren commentators … Top class

    Going to be a great World Cup, one we will need to savor before the jokers at Fox get their hands on it

    This made my day!


    1. I am not sure about this respect comment. Many times in the past, ESPN announcers for other sports have ridiculed Soccer and shown the sport little respect. I am not sure if they do it anymore because I quit watching ESPN, except for ESPN FC and the World Cup. After the World Cup in Brazil, I won’t have a reason to watch ESPN at all. All their shows are about American Football anyway.

  4. Great Pickup, can’t wait to see who the rest of the Co-Commentators are besides Twellman (USA matches), Macca (England Matches) and Moreno (Mexico Matches)

  5. Swapping Martin Tyler for Jon Champion is a wash on current form. Champion IMO along with Drury and Banyard are the best week in and week out commentators that call Prem games. Mann does a good job but doesn’t get as many plumb assignments as the aforementioned group.

    Now the big question is who joins Bob Ley on the plane to Brazil as a host. I have to think Chris Fowler will be on the seat next to Bob as long as his tennis schedule gets in the way. I’m not sure if Tirico goes again this year or if they give the job to Max Bretos or Dan Thomas. I love Tirico but I think they should give the gig to Bretos or Thomas who have been doing stuff on TV for ESPN for a couple of years now while I don’t think Tirico has had soccer assignment since South Africa.

    1. it’ll be interesting to see if they Chris Fowler see as he’s their Number 1 Tennis Commentator, and Tirico is somewhat of their number 2, when Wimbledon starts they’ll be there for that, maybe the first few weeks they’ll be in Brazil, but i can’t see ESPN replacing them on Wimbledon with someone else. So Dan Thomas and Max Bretos are their likely replacements which i’m okay with. I’d like to see Rece Davis come in since he has previous experience with EURO 2008 and did a good job. Would love to see my favorite Anchor Hannah Storm do the World Cup, but she’ll definitely be at Wimbledon instead as well.

  6. Jon Champion is an OK commentator, nothing more. Nowhere nearly as good as Martin Tyler. The problem with Champion is that once he targets a player, because he has had a bad season or did something wrong during the game, he will continue his attack on the player for the rest of the game. Very annoying.

  7. Solid commentary teams. For all of you who think Brits don’t like anyone American involved in football, I actually think Bob Ley does a very good job being the anchor for ESPN. He may not have grown up in the world of football but it’s obvious he has done his homework and now has true knowledge of the game. That’s all we ask for.

  8. Jon Champion is more an instigator than a commentator. He keeps harping on something or the other that happens in a game and spends the rest of the game endlessly talking about it. Still, he is a lot better than the guys at Fox.

    Mann is a decent commentator so that’s a plus.

  9. Don’t know who most of these Brits are, but you gotta hire who’s best. They might not have passion like the Univision guys do… but sometimes boring is not so bad.

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