SBD/July 15, 2011/Media

ESPN To Utilize Additional Cameras For Sunday's Women's World Cup Final

ESPN to utilize 22 cameras during coverage of Sunday's final

ESPN Senior VP & Exec Producer Jed Drake said that the net will "add to its coverage" for Sunday's Japan-U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup final, "using 22 cameras, including a spider-cam, an overhead camera and extra cameras on the field," according to John Maffei of the NORTH COUNTY TIMES. There also will be "cameras with the U.S. troops in Afghanistan, in New York's Times Square and in Japan." Drake said, "We have a very solid production plan. But going into an even bigger event, you don't try and overdo it. We want to stay in the groove. We don't want to go too far afield and be risky. We want to focus on what we do well." Meanwhile, Drake added, "We're delighted we've captured the imagination of the country and are involved in something that is truly special. We had hopes, but there has been remarkable play on the field." Maffei writes ESPN's coverage of the tournament "has been outstanding." Maffei: "The camera work has been superb. All the angles have been covered and replays on goals and key plays have been plentiful." But the "stars of the show ... have been game broadcasters Ian Darke and Julie Foudy along with studio analyst Brandi Chastain." Darke has "blended well with Foudy" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 7/15).

RISK PAYS OFF: On Long Island, Neil Best writes ESPN execs "made a huge, risky bet in time and dollars chronicling the Women's World Cup as thoroughly as they have, and they deserve to reap the reward of an event that has paid off big." Drake: "We had great hopes we would get to some measure of our success to date. But needless to say we have benefited immensely from the interest in the U.S. team." ESPN "couldn't go wrong with Ian Darke on play-by-play after his fine work at last year's men's World Cup," and "beyond that, the network predictably loaded up on the stars of the sainted '99 team," including Foudy, Chastain, Briana Scurry, Mia Hamm and coach Tony DiCicco. Their work "generally has been solid, but they have walked an admittedly fine line between analysis and advocacy, what with their personal ties to the program." Foudy said, "It is a fine balance of, obviously internally I want that team to do well, but at the same time I have to call the game as objectively as I can and step out of that" (NEWSDAY, 7/15).

BALL CARRIERS
: ESPN averaged 3.35 million viewers for Wednesday's U.S.-France Women's World Cup semifinal, marking the fourth most-viewed Women's World Cup telecast ever and most-viewed weekday match ever. For the week of July 4-10, ESPN's Women's World Cup telecasts accounted for four of the top 10 most-viewed sporting events on cable TV (THE DAILY).

TOP FIVE MOST-VIEWED FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP MATCHES
DATE
MATCH
NET
U.S. RATING
VIEWERS (000)
7/10/99
Final: U.S.-China
ABC
11.4
17,975
7/4/99
Semifinal: U.S.-Brazil
ESPN
2.9
4,924
7/10/11
Quarterfinal: U.S.-Brazil
ESPN
2.3
3,890
7/13/11
Semifinal: U.S.-France
ESPN
2.2
3,354
7/1/99
Quarterfinal: U.S.-Germany
ESPN
1.7
2,627

CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS: ESPN's coverage of the Japan-U.S. match is scheduled to start at 2:00pm ET Sunday, but that could be bumped to ESPN2 should the net's coverage of the British Open final round run long. ESPN2 will air a "SportsCenter Special Women’s World Cup Final" preview show starting at 1:00pm, and that will continue until coverage of the British Open on ESPN ends. Should the golf tournament run past 2:00pm, the World Cup pregame show will begin airing on ESPN2. The soccer coverage will move to ESPN after the conclusion of the British Open. The actual match is set to begin at 2:45pm (THE DAILY).
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