ESPN has announced that it will broadcast a nightly one-hour World Cup news and discussion show on every match day of the tournament, which will give soccer fans the opportunity to listen to and watch expert analysis from the breadth of ESPN soccer talent.
Primarily airing on ESPN2 at 5pm ET each night, anchors Max Bretos and Antonietta “Toni” Collins will host. Plus ESPN will be able to pull in expert opinions from their analysts and correspondents from around the world including Steve McManaman, Taylor Twellman, Craig Burley, Julie Foudy, Shaka Hislop, Kasey Keller, Paul Mariner, Kate Markgraf, Brian McBride, Janusz Michallik, Alejandro Moreno, Stewart Robson, Sam Borden, Gab Marcotti, Jeff Carlisle, Tom Marshall, Raf Honigstein, Colin Udoh, Julien Laurens, Sebastian Salazar and analyst Herculez Gomez.
In good news for soccer fans, Twellman will be on SportsCenter show daily.
ESPN FC, the global soccer program available exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+, the ESPN App and ESPN.com, will also air daily hosted by Dan Thomas, Alexis Nunes and Adrian Healey.
In previous years when ESPN had the rights to the World Cup on US television, FOX Sports would often have a daily World Cup analysis show featuring the likes of Andy Gray and Richard Keys, but the show was poorly produced and didn’t offer any serious competition to the rights holder.
But with the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the wealth of talent at ESPN’s disposal, it’s possible that ESPN could be the go-to network for World Cup analysis instead of rights holder FOX Sports. The challenge for ESPN will be trying to determine how much of their analysis they want to give on SportsCenter versus how much they’ll save for ESPN+ which is a separate paid subscription service.