ESPN Makes Multiplatform Push for World Cup
Will offer live coverage to mobile phones, multilingual Web streams
By Glen Dickson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/1/2010 9:27:15 PM
Sports giant ESPN says it will provide a month chock full of multiplatform 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage including online, mobile, social media, fantasy, games and digital audio.
Most notable is extensive live match coverage to mobile phones, a first in the U.S. for World Cup coverage, from the first round to the final. ESPN Mobile TV, which is available on the AT&T Mobile TV, FLO TV, MobiTV, Sprint TV and Verizon VCAST platforms, will carry 56 matches live in the U.S. AT&T Mobile TV will also carry the 8 live overlapping concurrent matches on a World Cup dedicated channel, for a total of 64 matches.
ESPN has also enhanced its broadband network, ESPN3.com, which is available to broadband subscribers of affiliated service providers including AT&T, Verizon, Cox Communications, Comcast, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway and Grande Communications. ESPN3.com will carry 54 matches live with a range of new features and viewing options, including the ability select games in one of five additional languages: Portuguese, Arabic, German, Japanese or Korean. Closed captioning will also be available for all live matches in English.
ESPN3.com's live coverage of 54 matches -- with all 64 matches available for replay -- will also include features such as "Key Plays," which lets viewers jump to key scoring plays and pivotal moments at any time during the game; and new viewing modes including picture-in-picture and split screens.
Other World Cup digital initiatives include a new premium app for Apple devices, available for a one-time purchase of $7.99, which will allow fans to access live play by plays, live audio, live commentary, live scoring alerts, breaking news alerts, news by team alerts, and in-game video highlights and share reactions through Facebook and Twitter; text message updates on all World Cup match starts, scores and news, available for $4.99; and play-by-play audio of all 64 matches on ESPNRadio.com via a new "super stream" player.
"With the advent of social media and digital convergence in full stride, we expect the 2010 FIFA World Cup on ESPN to be the most watched, talked about, read and listened to tournament of the year," said John Kosner, SVP and GM of ESPN Digital Media, in a statement. "The anticipation leading up to June 11, during the weeks of soccer action and in the days after the trophy is raised, ESPN plans to offer sports fans every ways and means of experiencing and connecting with other fans for this global event on multiple platforms."
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