ESPN has announced its hosts for the network’s coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Mike Tirico and Bob Ley return as hosts, and will be joined by newcomer Lynsey Hipgrave of BT Sport. The trio will anchor ESPN studio shows – SportsCenter, World Cup Tonight, pre-match, halftime and post-match shows, and other FIFA World Cup-related news and information programs – throughout the month-long tournament from ESPN’s production headquarters at Rio de Janeiro’s Clube dos Marimbás, a popular members-only boating club on the southern tip of Copacabana Beach.
Hipgrave, who joined London-based BT Sport as a studio host in August 2013, will make her ESPN debut during the World Cup, having covered the Premier League and other top-flight soccer in Europe for the London-based sports network, and the UEFA Champions League for Al Jazeera Sport.
“We are thrilled to have Mike and Bob anchor our FIFA World Cup coverage once again. They were a key part of our success in South Africa, and we expect much the same from them in Brazil. Lynsey is a proven soccer host, coming from BT Sport in the UK. Her knowledge of soccer is at the highest level, as are her skills as a host. She’s very smart, engaging and dynamic – a perfect addition to our team,” said Jed Drake, ESPN Senior Vice President and Executive Producer.
“As good a commentator team as we had in 2010, the group we have assembled for 2014 is even better – more diverse and more opinionated. And they will work tremendously together, one team from 12 different countries.”
Tirico, Ley and Hipgrave will work with ESPN’s 11-member analyst team that features a global roster of international football experts. Collectively, the analysts have been on 15 World Cup rosters and played in 43 matches: Steve McManaman, Stewart Robson (England); Alexi Lalas, Taylor Twellman, Kasey Keller (USA); Michael Ballack (Germany); Efan Ekoku (Nigeria); Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela); Gilberto Silva (Brazil); Santiago Solari (Argentina); and Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands).
Is ESPN hoping that Lynsey Hipgrave can be their next Rebecca Lowe? We’ll have to wait and see. But here’s a demo reel of her.
What’s your opinion regarding the appointment of Tirico, Ley and Hipgrave? Share your feedback in the comments section below.