via press release:
ESPN Presents Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™
Multiplatform Coverage on U.S. TV, Digital, Radio and more
ESPN will provide comprehensive coverage of the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup across its multimedia platforms highlighted by FIFA World Cup Draw, a two-hour live program on ESPN2 and WatchESPN beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET. Bob Ley will host, joined by analysts Michael Ballack, Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman and Santiago Solari in ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studio, and Taylor Twellman from Kansas City, site of the 2013 MLS Cup.
The Draw places the 32 teams who have qualified for the 2014 World Cup into eight groups consisting of four teams. The teams in each group play three matches in a round-robin phase with the top two teams from each group advancing to the round of 16 single-elimination phase.
Reporters Jeremy Schaap, John Sutcliffe and ESPN Brasil’s Rubens Pozzi, will provide live reports throughout the day from Costa do Sauípe in the Brazilian state of Bahia, where the draw will be held. Other highlights:
· ESPN3, the multiscreen sports network in 85 million homes, will show the live stream of the official FIFA World Cup Draw ceremony (world feed) beginning at 11 a.m.;
· SportsCenter – The daytime editions of the ESPN flagship program on Friday at 11 a.m. with Jay Crawford and Karl Ravech, and 1 p.m. show with Linda Cohn and David Lloyd, will offer live look-ins to the Final Draw in Costa do Sauípe;
· #TimmyTakeover on social media – U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper and FIFA World Cup veteran Tim Howard will take over the @ESPN Twitter account during the Draw to provide instant reaction and comments.
· ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language sports network will offer analysis, predictions and post-Draw reactions starting at 11 a.m. Coverage will originate from ESPN’s studios in Mexico City with a roundtable of experts that includes former coach of Mexico’s National Team Ricardo La Volpe, and former soccer players Luis Roberto Alves “Zague” and Francisco Gabriel de Anda alongside José Ramón Fernández, Tony Cherchi and Ricardo Puig. Sutcliffe and Ciro Procuna will report from Brazil throughout the network’s live programming. Fernando Palomo, Andrés Agulla, Manu Martín and Tato Noriega will also contribute to the analysis from Bristol, Conn. In addition, the coverage will present live reactions and reports from ESPN’s experts and relevant soccer personalities from around the world.
· ESPN Deportes Radio, the only 24/7 Spanish-language sports radio network, will present news and information programming prior to, during and after the Draw led by a special two-hour show Destino Brazil 2014 starting at 12 p.m. with the analysis, reactions and news from radio personalities Marcelo Masanti, Ricardo Mayorga, Diego Cora, Giovanni Scavia. José del Valle will join the coverage with live reports from Brazil. SportsCenter minute updates will be incorporated into the radio show with reports every 30 minutes.
ESPN FC on TV
ESPN FC, the definitive soccer studio news and information program, will air World Cup Draw specials on Thursday and Friday on ESPN2:
· Friday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. – A one-hour recap of the World Cup Draw with Thomas, Hislop, McManaman and Solari in Bristol. Kasey Keller, Moreno and Twellman join from 2013 MLS Cup site in Kansas City; reporter Gab Marcotti from Costa do Sauípe, and German football expert Rafael Honigstein from London.
FIFA World Cup Draw on ESPN2 and WatchESPN, Friday, Dec. 6, at 11:30 a.m.
In addition to commentary, news highlights and analysis, ESPN2’s live presentation of the Draw will include the following segments:
· An in-depth explanation of the FIFA World Cup Final Draw – how it works and the introduction of soccer legends, generally FIFA World Cup champions and stars such as ESPN Deportes’ Mario Kempes (1978 Argentina World Cup champion), who act as draw assistants;
· Before the start of the Draw, leading statistician and analyst Nate Silver, the founder of award-winning FiveThirtyEight.com, will preview the best and worst case scenarios for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Silver will also offer his post-Draw reactions;
· Schaap (Draw and U.S. Men’s National Team), Sutcliffe (Mexican National Team) and Ponzi (Brazil), reports and interviews from site;
· U.S. Men’s National Team defender DeMarcus Beasley;
· Post-Draw interview with U.S. National Men’s Soccer Team manager Jurgen Klinsmann from Costa do Sauipe;
· Sutcliffe reports on the Mexican National Team’s draw;
· ESPN Brasil reporter Pozzi will react to the host nation’s draw; and
· ESPN’s lead soccer commentator Ian Darke joins the program live from London.
ESPN FC Across Global Digital Platforms
Global coverage of the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup across ESPN FC digital platforms will be closely integrated with on-air telecasts and will follow every moment of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw before, during and after the ceremony. Soccer fans from around the world will have access to up-to-the-minute news, highlights and analysis breaking down the results and final schedule, including:
Pre-Ceremony Coverage – This week, ESPN FC will deliver complete coverage leading up to the draw on Friday, including an in-depth look at the state of Brazil by ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com senior writer Wright Thompson. Other stories include a look back at the 1994 draw in Las Vegas from ESPN FC’s Roger Bennett, a recap of previous “Group of Death” showdowns, and preview stories from ESPN FC’s Gabriele Marcotti, among others. Fans will also be able to vote on the best position-by-position players and view possible scenarios with ESPN FC’s World Cup Draw simulator.
Live Draw Experience featuring WatchESPN and ESPN Sync – During the draw, fans will be able to access live coverage on ESPN2 and the live world feed on ESPN3 through WatchESPN in the US or follow the event live in Spanish with ESPN Sync in the US, Mexico and select regions of Latin America. The interactive draw experience will also feature an ESPN FC reaction show from 11:50 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN’s international English language networks as well as globally online. ESPN FC’s Dan Thomas hosts featuring Nicol, Paul Mariner, Hislop, Honigstein and Moreno among the guests. Additionally, live chats with ESPN FC writers and analysts, conversations on social platforms with @ESPNFC and #FCBootroom, Facebook and more, will also be available.
Rapid Reaction – Instant news and analysis will be reported on-site by ESPN FC’s Marcotti and Fernando Duarte, ESPN Deportes’ Jorge Ramos and Damián Didonato as well as group-by-group analysis and predictions by global contributors from around the world. Perspectives from the US, Mexico, Argentina and others will also be featured.
World Cup Bracket Predictor – At the conclusion of the draw, fans will be able to immediately get in the game by signing up for ESPN FC’s bracket style challenge. Players are tasked with predicting the two winners emerging from each of the eight groups as well as filling out the knockout bracket itself. Over $3,000 in prizes will be won by the most skilled predictors that construct the best brackets. Highlights of the game include:
· Real-time scoring and deep integration with ESPN Gamecast for the latest scores and news
· The ability to seamlessly make picks on the Web and mobile Web and share champion picks on social platforms
· Hundreds of “Fans of Country” groups and celebrity groups for fans to compete against
Six Months Out – Beginning December 12th, ESPN FC will kick off a six month countdown to the World Cup with the debut of Power Rankings. The site will also share its predictions and what to watch in addition to stories from renowned journalist Simon Kuper, ESPN FC’s Duarte, Firdose Moonda and others.
FIFA World Cup Draw:
The Draw will kickoff ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the month-long, 64-match sporting event in Brazil June 12 – July 13, 2014.
· Leading up to the Draw, the FIFA executive committee selects eight teams (including the host team) as the FIFA World Cup Finals’ top seeds (one per group).
· No two teams from the same zone or confederation – except teams from the European Zone (UEFA) – can be placed in the same group.