ESPN is preparing you for the World Cup a whopping 57 days before the tournament begins.
Prior to the first match between host South Africa and Mexico on June 11, the Disney-owned ESPN will air more than 100 hours of Cup-related content.
They are sending more than 300 staffers to South Africa, including 200 travelling from the U.S. and Europe, according to Broadcasting & Cable.
Here’s what you have to look forward to (from MediaWeek):
- Goal: a profile of all of the living players since 1950 who scored goals in the World Cup finals
- Voices of Africa: examines the relationship between South African culture and soccer
- Profiles of each of the 32 teams competing in the 2010 World Cup
Once the matches begin, the network will air even more Cup-focused content. According to MediaWeek, this will include:
- The Two Escobars: the network’s latest 30-30 film, which examines Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s passion for so cer
- A 10-part series called “Umlando” in which “musician and anti-Apartheid activist Hugh Massekela takes his son Sal, host of ESPN’s X Games and co-host of E! networks The Daily 10, on a historical tour of the country.”
In addition to this editorial content, the network will also be airing the World Cup itself. ESPN’s coverage includes all 64 matches — 44 will appear on ESPN, 10 on ESPN2, and 10 on ABC. The tournament will also kick off on ESPN’s newest channel, ESPN 3D. ESPN’s total World coverage will exceed 230 hours.
ESPN says they are almost sold out of advertising for the live events, and expect higher ratings than the 2006 Cup’s 1.9, which was an 80% boost from the 2002 ESPN broadcasts.
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