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ESPN’s Ian Darke Receives Award, and Other News

ESPN's Ian Darke

I was away all weekend for a quick getaway to Orlando, so I didn’t get a chance to post some news regarding interesting developments over the long weekend. First, I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2011 is your best one yet (and for your favorite club team). Second, here are the news items I think you’ll be interested in reading:

Ian Darke named Best Newcomer of the Year in 2010 Media Awards ( No, he’s not a newcomer by any means except for many viewers in the United States who are being introduced to the jovial ESPN2 commentator on Saturday mornings. In the same awards, The Two Escobars picked up joint place for the best documentary.

Maps of teams competing in 3rd Round of 2010-11 FA Cup this weekend (Billsportsmaps). Each year Bill Turanski, creator of, takes painstaking care to create a map featuring all of the teams involved in the third round of the FA Cup. It’s not only a great geography lesson but Turanski also packs each listing with plenty of stats, photos and a complete schedule.

ESPN Soccernet Press Pass is now available online five days a week (ESPN). I didn’t realize this until recently, but ESPN’s Press Pass show is now available online five days a week for viewers in the United States. Analysts typically include Shaka Hislop and Gabriel Marcotti. Plus the page also includes an archive link to past shows so you can catch up on anything you missed.

The 2010 World Cup Final was the 40th most viewed sports broadcast of 2010 (Sports Media Watch). The lone baseball game ranked 97th.

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  1. Bill Turianski

    January 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks, Gaffer, for the link!

  2. maw4bc

    January 4, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Ian Dark and McManaman are absolutely incredible on the ESPN broadcasts here in the US. I literally never watch any pre/post match commentary on FSC or FSC+ but I will watch every second of them talking pre/post on ESPN. ESPN is light years ahead of FSC, which is a shame considering most of the matches are on FSC.

    • Guy

      January 4, 2011 at 10:48 am


      I really enjoy both Darke and McManaman. They have a great chemistry and don’t seem to be in competition with each other trying to make points or grab lines. Amazing.

    • Joe

      January 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

      This topic of FSC’s inferiority has been addressed before, but for those who missed it I’ll repeat a good observation made by (I don’t remember who): when you watch a game on FSC, it almost feels like you’re the only person on the planet watching. There’s a strange hushed quality – not conducive to an exciting experience. ESPN manages to up the crowd noise, improve the picture quality, and get commentators who really lend gravity to the event.

  3. Joe

    January 4, 2011 at 9:29 am

    The “Press Pass” show has the annoying feature of a blank screen with “footage not available online” shown anytime there is live game footage in the show. Still a good show.

  4. farlieonfootie

    January 4, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Cheers to Ian Darke, as well as to ESPN for making him their regular EPL commentator. Darke’s call of Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria is right up there in my mind in the American sports pantheon with Al Michael’s legendary “Do You Believe in Miracles? Yes!” For this listener, at least, it’s a privilege to be able to listen to Darke on a regular basis, and it’s nice to see him getting recognized for his outstanding work.

    • edward

      April 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      But why do Darke and other commentators on the Premier League have to spoil viewers’ future enjoyment by telling them the result of other games being played that day and that they will in all probability have recorded or be recording for future viewing. I can’t imagine he would appreciate being informed on the first page of his favourite mystery writer (if he has one) who did the grisly deed!!

  5. Josh

    January 4, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I don’t think that ESPN UK does a version of PTI or ATH. I know that ESPN Australia has had a version of PTI for a few years.

    I have to say, I agree with almost all of those SI picks, which is quite something because I will usually disagree with quite a few. I almost want to say that the 30 for 30 documentaries should have all co-won the best documentary award. Most of them were great and the series as a whole was great. Personally my favourite was Pony Excess, but that’s only because I’m a huge college football fan and I’m not old enough to remember the 1980s SMU teams.

  6. Kobashi

    January 4, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Does ESPN UK do a localized version of ATH or PTI where people in the UK media talk about the sport issues of the day? If they don’t I wonder how long away we’re from seeing a program of that type as I know ESPN is about to do a Hispanic version of PTI on Deportes starting next month. With the internet a UK version could be delivered in real time through ESPN3 to the American and International Audience.

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