The Worldwide Leader has been building up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in a big way for years — devoting much more airtime and bandwidth to soccer than most Americans are used to. Now it’s almost time for what ESPN hopes will be the big payoff. The cable sports behemoth today revealed its comprehensive coverage plans for the quadrennial tournament, which kicks off June 12 in Brazil. Basically, if you have a screen that shows moving pictures, you can watch the World Cup. All 64 matches of the planet’s most popular sporting event will air on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and/or ABC as well as computers, smartphones, etc. And the sports giant will dedicate an entire month of 24/7 news, analysis and such on ESPN 3 and WatchESPN in the U.S. and worldwide via its multi-language soccer brand ESPN FC. The network also will launch a dedicated app and a redesigned global website this month. Here is a fun promotional spot from ESPN that focuses on the global passion for the World Cup — and for the hardcore, the network’s detailed Cup coverage plans are after the jump:
WatchESPN and ESPN3
Every single match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup – from the group stage to the final – on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ABC (through special simulcasts on ESPN3) will be available live on WatchESPN and ESPN3, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the award-winning WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV to more than 92 million households nationwide via an affiliated video or internet provider. All ten ABC telecasts will also be accessible via WATCH ABC in select markets through an affiliated provider.
ESPN3 Surround will also present companion viewing experiences to all 64 telecasts exclusively on the multi-screen sports network, allowing fans to watch every match live in multiple language offerings, including Portuguese (also available via ESPN Deportes+) andKorean. Additionally, ESPN3 Surround will deliver two alternate camera feeds to every telecast. They include tactical cams – which will provide a high and wide view of the pitch, giving viewers an in-stadium perspective – and real-time highlight reels that will update as big moments happen during every live match. In the weeks leading up to the FIFA World Cup, ESPN3 Surround will also deliver tactical cam and fan cam feeds to three international friendliesfeaturing the U.S. Men’s National Team: USA vs. Azerbaijan at 10 p.m. ET on May 27, USA vs. Turkey at 2 p.m. on June 1 and USA vs. Nigeria at 6 p.m. on June 7.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup is expected to be a record-breaking event on ESPN web, mobile and social platforms, and ESPN FC will be at the forefront with the latest breaking news, highlights, commentary, discussion and debate. In preparation for the world’s biggest sporting event, ESPN FC will re-introduce two of its tentpole global digital products over the next month. They include:
New ESPN FC App – launch coming soon with specific features tied to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The new ESPN FC app – developed natively for iOS and Android smartphones and supports both English and Spanish language – is built with the same user experience as theSportsCenter app, but with enhancements specific to serving soccer fans. It features a dedicated 2014 FIFA World Cup section that will be the default launch page beginning later this month, providing easy and immediate access to all related content before, during and after the tournament. In the US, the app will debut in-progress clips for the World Cup, whereby goal highlights will be marked on a timeline for each match in real-time.
Additionally, all fans worldwide will have access to ESPN FC studio coverage and commentary video.
Beyond the World Cup, the new app will focus on European leagues, Liga MX and MLS while also offering coverage of all major leagues and tournaments. Enhanced video features include the most recent match-specific highlights and ESPN FC studio programming clips contextually integrated and delivered to fans within match detail pages. Navigation is designed around four content pillars:
• Scores – live scores from favorite tournaments, leagues, clubs and teams and the day’s best matches, while also allowing fans to set alerts and access expanded information for each match with a simple tap
• News – curated by ESPN FC, the best and latest headlines of the day with a mix of breaking news, features, video and highlight clips will be presented
• Now – integrates contextual live scoring and social updates for select tournaments, leagues, clubs and teams from ESPN FC Twitter handles, enabling fans to reply, retweet, favorite, share, and email each post
• Tables – provides easy and immediate access to groups and current standings
Other key features include:
• Favorites and Clubhouses – provides quick access to favorite teams and upcoming or current games
• Inbox – a personalized collection that enables fans to catch up on relevant alerts, scores, video highlights, and a more expansive offering of news content based on preferences and activity
The new ESPN FC app will be available free to download in the App Store and Google Play.
Newly Redesigned ESPNFC.com – debuting later this month, the newly redesigned ESPNFC.com will launch in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The global website, designed with a mobile-first approach, will be fully responsive across desktop, smartphone and tablet devices. More details will be released later this month.