Week-long coverage of MLS Cup 2009 Culminates tonight on ESPN with Real Salt Lake FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
via ESPN press release:
ESPN at MLS Cup 2009: Los Angeles vs. Salt Lake City
Beckham and Donovan lead Los Angeles vs. Kyle Beckerman and Real Salt Lake Sunday on ESPN HD
Week-long Coverage Across ESPN Media Platforms
Western Conference Finals Set MLS Viewership Record on ESPN2
ESPN’s week-long coverage of MLS Cup 2009 will culminate with the live, high definition telecast of Real Salt Lake FC vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy Sunday, Nov. 22, at 8:30 p.m. ET, from the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field in Seattle. The title match, available on ESPN360.com, will feature a Los Angeles team, led by Landon Donovan and David Beckham, in his first U.S. title match since joining Major League Soccer in 2007 from soccer powerhouse Real Madrid FC, vs. Real Salt Lake FC, captained by U.S. national team player Kyle Beckerman.
Veteran soccer play-by-play commentator JP Dellacamera will call the match with soccer Hall of Famer and former captain of the U.S. Men’s National Team John Harkes providing analysis, and Allen Hopkins and Rob Stone on the sidelines.
Stone will also host on-site studio segments before and after the match and at halftime, joined by former U.S. Women’s National Team captain Julie Foudy and former U.S. Men’s National Team player Alexi Lalas as analysts. Lalas is a former president and general manager of the Galaxy – at the helm when Beckham arrived at the team.
MLS Cup 2009 TV highlights:
- 19 cameras, including two super slo-mo cameras, steadicam, and skycam;
- ESPN Axis, a U.S. domestic soccer virtual replay technology that allows analysts to use the telestrator to highlight the locations and movements of players on the field; and the Offside Line, which displays a virtual line affixed to the last defender to show viewers whether the referee’s offside decision is accurate on replays;
- Unique graphic “heat maps” tracking star player movement during the match, measuring speed and total distance run by every player on the field;
- With the MLS Cup in Seattle, the home of one of the most vibrant MLS fan-bases, ESPN’s telecast will pay homage to MLS “Supporter Groups,” a celebration of the fans who passionately follow their teams throughout the season. Using “Follow your Heart” as the theme, highlights and footage of the Seattle FC Alliance, the host club’s supporters group marching into the stadium on match days, will be interspersed into the event telecast.
Additional ESPN News and Information Programming
- The 2009 MLS Most Valuable Player will be announced exclusively on ESPNEWS, the nation’s only 24-hour television sports news network, Thurs., Nov. 19. The top-three finalists: Jeff Cunningham (Dallas FC), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution). In addition, the network will air segments previewing the 2009 MLS Cup matchup as well as the presentation of Friday’s pre-game press briefings by the teams;
- News and information programs such as SportsCenter (ESPN) and First Take (ESPN2, 10 a.m. – 12 noon) will feature MLS Cup news and highlights.
ESPN Digital Media
- This week, ESPNSoccernet.com, the leading English-language soccer news and information site in the world, features daily MLS Cup stories, matchup analysis and previews through post-match reports Monday by writers Ives Galarcep, Steve Davis and Jeff Carlisle. In addition, there will be extensive video highlights and analysis leading up to and after the match. For ESPNSoccernet.com’s coverage, click here: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/section?id=mls&cc=5901
- ESPNdeportes.com features daily MLS Cup stories, matchup previews and post-game reports. In addition, chats with players, blogging and columns by Fernando Palomo; video preview and post-match reports; MLS Cup gamecast; and more. For ESPNdeportes.com coverage, click here: http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/futbol/liga?league=USA.1
ESPN International will televise the MLS Cup 2009 in 122 countries via coverage on ESPN Dos/Dos Mexico, ESPN+, ESPN+ Andina, Australia HD, ESPN Atlantic, ESPN Middle East, ESPN Pacific Rim, Latin North/South; Latin/Caribbean and Latin/Brasil regions.
ESPN Classic Presents History of the MLS Cup, Saturday at 6 p.m.
For the first time, ESPN Classic will feature a special presentation of the History of the MLS Cup, a star-studded documentary that travels from the birth of the league in North America through 2008. The two-hour program, which takes viewers onto the field for the best action from the first 12 MLS Cup matches, includes never-before-seen footage, off-the-field and inside-the-locker room access with players and coaches, exclusive interviews, and more. Interviews include players and coaches who have starred on the biggest stage of the premier soccer league in the U.S., the MLS Cup, such as Landon Donovan, Brian Ching, Bruce Arena, Cobi Jones, Dwayne De Rosario, John Harkes, Jeff Agoos, Pat Onstad, and Eric Wynalda.
Beckham and Donovan Propel ESPN2 to Record MLS Viewership
ESPN2’s live coverage of the 2009 MLS Western Conference Finals Friday, Nov. 13, a 2 – 0 extra time victory by the Los Angeles Galaxy over the Houston Dynamo, was seen in an average of 538,000 television homes (700,000 people 2+), based on a 0.5 rating, making it the most-watched MLS telecast ever on the network.
The previous record was on Thurs., Aug. 23, 2007, in a regular-season match between Chivas USA and Los Angeles, seen in an average of 532,000 television homes (658,000 P2+), a 0.6 rating.
Additionally on ESPN Deportes, the match was seen in an average of 73,000 Hispanic television homes (121,000 Hispanic P2+), a 1.6 Hispanic coverage rating.