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Volume 6 No. 212
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ESPN Brazil Banks On Int’l Expertise, In-Depth Reporting For World Cup Coverage

ESPN Brazil's World Cup Coverage

  • 4 studios:
    - 2 in São Paulo (main at ESPN HQ studios and another from a set outside of the Corinthians Arena)
    - Rio de Janeiro
    - Fortaleza
  • 5 broadcast trucks
  • 7 national team dedicated crews
  • 8 ENG reporters equipped with satellite uplink backpacks
  • All 64 matches live
  • 236 credentialed ESPN Brazil team members
  • 510+ hours dedicated to 2014 World Cup
  • Key studio coverage each match day including SportsCenter, Bate Bola na Copa and Linha de Passe na Copa
  • A crew of 20, including eight commentators, will exclusively follow the Brazil national team
  • Special appearances by: Alexi Lalas (U.S.), Freddy Rincón and Carlos Valderrama (Colombia), Hugo Sanchez, Jared Borgetti and Luis Roberto Zague (Mexico), Juan Pablo Sorín and Mario Kempes (Argentina), Ivan Zamorano (Chile), Loco Abreu (Uruguay), Michael Ballack (Germany), Steve McManaman (England), Zé Elias (Brazil)
With six Brazilian broadcasters showing this summer’s FIFA World Cup in the host nation, it will be a difficult task for each of them to separate themselves from the pack. ESPN Brazil, however, hopes its expertise in int’l football will set itself apart from the other rights holders in the country and offer viewers more in-depth coverage of teams, players and other issues surrounding the tournament. “ESPN has been the most important source of international football for Brazilian fans,” said German Hartenstein, general manager of ESPN Brazil. “So when you want to know what will happen with the German team, we are the best source to tell you.” Since the last World Cup in South Africa in ‘10, ESPN Brazil has aired 4,000 matches from the main European leagues across its three channels. The network hopes that its coverage of the top European leagues, where the majority of Brazilian national team players compete, provides it with a competitive advantage over its rivals. “There’s just one place where [fans] can find Brazilian national team players all week long and ESPN is the address,” said João Palomino, director of content and production at ESPN Brazil. The network’s extensive coverage of int’l football means ESPN not only has the top Seleção players in its program week in and week out, but also the top players from Europe, Africa and Asia. Building on its reputation as the No. 1 source for int’l football, ESPN Brazil will assign reporters to each of the main World Cup contenders such as Argentina, England, Germany, Italy and Spain. Those reporters will be on location at the teams’ base camps, travel with the teams and produce daily updates. In addition to showing all 64 World Cup matches live, ESPN Brazil will put an emphasis on its programming around the games. “The match is very important, but before the match and after the match, pre and post-match, we have a strong team and we will show Brazil to Brazilian people,” said Palomino. He added that just like Americans love to discuss and debate the NFL, NBA or NHL, Brazilians love to talk about football. ESPN Brazil’s most important program in this regard is “Linha de Passe.” The show features four of the country’s top football journalists, who will discuss match tactics, teams, player performances and other World Cup-related topics on a daily basis. The nation's other broadcast rights holders are Brazilian free-TV channels Rede Globo and Rede Bandeirantes, as well as pay-TV networks SporTV, BandSports and Fox Sports Brazil.

MORE THAN SPORTS: As important as the matches are during a World Cup, Hartenstein said that it is about much more than sports. “The fans will know what is taking place in Recife during the day of the match, what the people are thinking and what the discussions are. This is part of our coverage plans,” he said. ESPN Brazil will take a look beyond the sport. Palomino said that the network will show how prepared or unprepared the country is for the World Cup. It will try to answer the questions surrounding stadiums and political issues, with a presidential election coming up in October. “It’s a hot year for the Brazilian government and for sports in Brazil,” Palomino said. “It’s an opportunity for Brazilian people to get to know Brazil, and I think we can be an instrument to show to Brazilian people how Brazil is and how Brazil will become after the World Cup.”

AROUND THE GLOBE: Outside of the U.S. and Brazil, where ESPN has secured live broadcast rights, the network’s World Cup coverage will be centered around its digital home for football, The website will act as ESPN’s global football hub, with in-depth analysis and coverage, scores and updates from around the world. “We’ve attacked the FIFA World Cup this year as a global organization, as one organization, which is when we are at our best,” said Russell Wolff, exec VP and managing director of ESPN International. The collaboration between the various int'l and U.S. divisions -- digital, print and TV -- is expected to continue during the tournament. In addition to the website, which will undergo a redesign ahead of the World Cup, ESPN recently launched the ESPN FC app and its FC-branded TV show will air during the World Cup on its int’l broadcast properties. Wolff: "So whether you are in the Caribbean or in Australia on our English-language networks, you’ll be seeing the ESPN FC daily show."