Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

ESPN's World Cup TV schedule

The press release writers in Bristol, Conn., aren't exactly known for brevity. But it still tells you something that ESPN's World Cup television schedule took five pages out of the office printer.

ESPN's World Cup TV schedule

ABC will air the U.S. national team´s opening World Cup game against England. (Schalk van Zuydam/AP file photo)
ABC will air the U.S. national team's opening World Cup game against England. (Schalk van Zuydam/AP file photo)

The press release writers in Bristol, Conn., aren't exactly known for brevity. But it still tells you something that ESPN's World Cup television schedule took five pages out of the office printer.

As with Germany four years ago, all 64 games from South Africa this summer will air live and in HD on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. ESPN will show 45 games, with ABC and ESPN2 showing 10 games each.

You can get the full schedule here. There will also be nightly replays on ESPN Classic from 6 p.m. to midnight, and ESPN2 will re-air some games at nigths as well.

"At some point you've got to treat it like the significant sporting event that is," ESPN's executive vice president of content John Skipper told the Associated Press today. "I understand it has not traditionally stopped work and stopped the country to watch it in past years. But we're going to treat it like it should."

For the first time, ESPN will run its studio shows from on-site instead of Bristol. That means all the pregame, halftime and postgame shows will be set in South Africa.

While we don't yet know who the game announcers will be, it's been reported previously that Chris Fowler, Mike Tirico and Bob Ley will be the studio set hosts. The AP confirmed today that all of ESPN's broadcast crews will be on site to call games in South Africa; four years ago, only two of the four crews were on site.

The AP also reported yesterday that former Netherlands star and veteran coach Ruud Gullit will be a part of ESPN's crew, as will ESPN veteran Alexi Lalas. Today's report added former England international Steve McMannaman to the list of analysts.

ESPN is sending 165 people to South Africa and will hire 50 local workers. The network has also hired its own private security firm for the tournament.

Games broadcast on ESPN and ESPN2 will be simulcast on ESPN360.com. All 64 World Cup games will be available in ESPN360's archives shortly after they end, and will remain in the archives through the end of the calendar year.

In addition, 46 games of the ESPN/ESPN2 games will air on ESPN's mobile platform. That includes all of the games on cable except those in the final round of the group stage, when both games in a group kick off simultaneously.

The release doesn't say anything about whether the ESPN World Cup iPhone/iPod Touch app will include any live video.

If you speak Portuguese, you might like to know that ESPN Deportes will air 40 matches in Portuguese on that channel. Spanish-language rights are held by Univision, which will air games on that channel and Telefutura.

I haven't seen yet any information about whether Univision will air games in HD. Right now its affiliates don't broadcast in HD, and Spanish-language stations in the U.S. were not part of the digital TV transition last year.

Let's break out the U.S. games and the games that ABC will air, because those will be the most prominent broadcasts.

All games will kick off at 7 a.m., 9:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. Eastern time.

U.S. schedule

Saturday, June 12: U.S. vs. England, 2 p.m., ABC (Rustenburg)
Friday, June 18: U.S. vs. Slovenia, 9:30 a.m., ESPN (Johannesburg)
Wednesday, June 23: U.S. vs. Algeria, 9:30 a.m., ESPN (Pretoria)
Saturday June 26: U.S. second round if it wins the group, 2 p.m., ABC (Rustenburg)
Sunday, June 27: U.S. second round if it finishes second, 9:30 a.m., ESPN (Bloemfontein)
Friday, July 2: U.S. quarterfinal if it wins the group, 2 p.m., ESPN (Johannesburg)
Saturday, July 3: U.S. quarterfinal if it finishes second, 9:30 a.m., ABC (Cape Town)
Tuesday, July 6: U.S. semifinal if it wins the group, 2 p.m., ESPN (Cape Town)
Wednesday, July 7: U.S. semifinal if it finishes second, 2 p.m., ESPN (Durban)

ABC schedule

Saturday, June 12: England vs. United States, 2 p.m. (Rustenburg)
Sunday, June 13: Germany vs. Australia, 2 p.m. (Durban)
Saturday, June 19: Cameroon vs. Denmark, 2 p.m. (Pretoria)
Sunday, June 20: Brazil vs. Ivory Coast, 2 p.m. (Johannesburg)
Saturday, June 26: A second-round game (1st C vs. 2nd D), 2 p.m. (Rustenburg)
Sunday, June 27: A second round game (1st B vs. 2nd A), 2 p.m. (Johannesburg)
Saturday, July 3: A quarterfinal, 9:30 a.m. (Cape Town)
Saturday, July 3: A quarterfinal, 2 p.m. (Johannesburg)
Saturday, July 10: Third-place game, 2 p.m. (Port Elizabeth)
Sunday, July 11: Championship game, 1:30 p.m. (Johannesburg)

Is that enough coverage for you?

More coverage
Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected