Special Post: ESPN Goes Nuts For USA Soccer (and other things)
Today we see of the first real fruits of ESPN's push for USA soccer on their networks leading up the World Cup next summer.
First of all, we get word that they are doing a lot of pre and post game coverage of the qualifier next Wed in Mexico City, even though they are not the ones broadcasting the game. Check this out:
"ESPN networks will provide comprehensive studio news and information coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match featuring the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team vs. Mexico, Wednesday, Aug. 12, from Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The “game around the game” coverage will be highlighted by a 30-minute SportsCenter 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Special on ESPN, Aug. 12, at 3:30 p.m. ET, hosted by Bob Ley and Alexi Lalas (from outside Azteca Stadium in Mexico City) and SportsCenter anchor Josh Elliott and ESPN soccer analyst John Harkes (in Bristol, Conn.). The special marks the first time in its 30-year history that ESPN will air a live pre-match show for a soccer event it is not televising."
Then we get this really cool insider look, from writer Wayne Drehs who traveled with Team USA, from June 1 in prep for two World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica & Honduras, through the Confed Cup in South Africa, the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and looking ahead to Aug 12's big match against Mexico in the DF. Words & video from inside the team. Fantastic stuff. They ripped off the title, but it's still not bad: Fevered Pitch
Finally we get word via the great website EPL Talk that ESPN has acquired rights to show up to 2 English Premiership games per week. See the details on that right here. That's in addition to their MLS and Spanish Liga games.
They must be making money if they are taking it this seriously.