ABC & ESPN 2014-15 NBA Schedule

NBA-on-ESPN-logoNBA_on_ABCLeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony in Action during Star-studded NBAOpening Week on ESPN

LeBron James Returns to Miami for Cleveland Cavaliers-Miami Heat Christmas Day Showdown

Oklahoma City Thunder and reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant Lead the Way with 16 Total Appearances

ABC & ESPN Combine for 90 National Regular-season NBA Telecasts

Star-studded NBA Opening WeekonESPN

The NBA returns to ESPN on Wednesday, October 29, for a doubleheader during NBA opening week. At 8 p.m. ET, the Chicago Bulls welcome Derrick Rose back to action as they visit the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony. At 10:30 p.m., the Oklahoma City Thunder and reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant will visit the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard. The NBA’s opening week continues on Halloween – Friday, October 31 – as the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James visit the Chicago Bulls and Derrick Rose at 8 p.m. In the nightcap, the Los Angeles Lakers and the returning Kobe Bryant host the Los Angeles Clippers and Chris Paul at 10:30 p.m.  NBA Countdown will precede both games with special one-hour pre-game shows at 7 p.m.

All ESPN games will be available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox, Fire TV and Apple TV via WatchESPN. ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes will also have coverage throughout the season. In addition, the NBA Countdown pre-game show will generally preview ABC and ESPN games or doubleheaders 30 minutes prior to game time.

NBA Christmas Day Highlighted by LeBron James’ Return to Miami

ABC and ESPN will combine to televise three games on Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25, beginning at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN when the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony host the Washington Wizards and John Wall. ABC will then broadcast an NBA doubleheader: the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs and Tony Parker host the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant in a rematch of the 2014 Western Conference Finals at 2:30 p.m., followed by the Miami return of LeBron James as the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade at 5 p.m.

Christmas Day schedule

Time (ET) Telecast Network(s)
12 p.m. Washington Wizards at New York Knicks ESPN, WatchESPN
2 p.m. NBA Countdown ABC, WatchABC
2:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs ABC, WatchABC
5 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat ABC, WatchABC

ABC schedule highlights

v  15 exclusive, national broadcasts and seven doubleheaders, including Christmas Day – Dec. 25, Jan. 25, Feb. 8, Mar. 1, Mar. 8, Mar. 15, Apr. 5;

v  Christmas Day blockbuster doubleheader: Oklahoma City Thunder at defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs at 2:30 p.m.; LeBron James returns to Miami for Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat at 5 p.m.;

v  Multiple appearances by top NBA superstars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and more;

v  Six appearances by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant, plus five appearances each by the Cleveland Cavaliers – led by LeBron James – and the Chicago Bulls and Derrick Rose;

v  Four appearances by the Los Angeles Clippers, featuring the “Lob City” tandem of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin;

v  Oklahoma City Thunder at Cleveland Cavaliers – Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James in matchup of last two MVPs – Jan. 25;

v  Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers – Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James – on Feb. 8;

v  First-ever Golden State Warriors appearance on Mar. 8;

NBA Countdown pre-game show generally 30 minutes prior to every ABC game or doubleheader.

ESPN schedule highlights

v  75 national telecasts and 34 doubleheaders;

v  LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony in action during star-studded NBA opening week on ESPN;

v  Los Angeles Lakers to visit New York Knicks on Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 1; Phoenix Suns to host Chicago Bulls Super Bowl Weekend on Jan. 30;

v  10 appearances each by the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant, the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs and Tim Duncan, the Chicago Bulls and Derrick Rose, the Los Angeles Clippers and Chris Paul and the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard;

v  Nine appearances each by the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry, the Houston Rockets and Dwight Howard, the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant, the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade, the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony and the Washington Wizards and John Wall;

v  Derrick Rose’s return to the Chicago Bulls to air on ESPN’s opening night of NBA coverage, Oct. 29;

v  First Christmas Day appearance by the Washington Wizards;

v  Special Martin Luther King, Jr. Day matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 19;

v  The Houston Rockets will face the Minnesota Timberwolves in a matchup emanating from Mexico City on Nov. 12;

Kia NBA Countdown pre-game show generally 30 minutes prior to ESPN games or doubleheaders.

ABC Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game
Thu, Dec. 25 2:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs
5 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat
Sun, Jan. 25 1 p.m. Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls
3:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Cleveland Cavaliers
Sun, Feb. 8 1 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder
3:30 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers
Sun, Feb. 22 1 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks
Sun, Mar. 1 1 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Chicago Bulls
3:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers
Sun, Mar. 8 1 p.m. Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs
3:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors
Sun, Mar. 15 1 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder
3:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers
Sun, Apr. 5 1 p.m. Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder
3:30 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers

ESPN Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game
Wed, Oct. 29 8 p.m. Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks
10:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers
Fri, Oct. 31 8 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls
10:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers
Wed, Nov. 5 8 p.m. Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards
10:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors
Fri, Nov. 7 8 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder
10:30 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets
Wed, Nov. 12 7:30 p.m. Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat
10 p.m. Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves

(From Mexico City)

Fri, Nov. 14 10 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers
Wed, Nov. 19 7 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers
9:30 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at Houston Rockets
Fri, Nov. 21 8 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards
10:30 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Portland Trail Blazers
Wed, Nov. 26 7:30 p.m. New York Knicks at Dallas Mavericks
Wed, Dec. 10 8 p.m. New York Knicks at San Antonio Spurs
10:30 p.m. Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets
Fri, Dec. 12 7 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers at Chicago Bulls
9:30 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs
Tue, Dec. 16 8 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at New York Knicks
10:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Sacramento Kings
Wed, Dec. 17 8 p.m. Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors
10:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Denver Nuggets
Fri, Dec. 19 8 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs
10:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers
Thu, Dec. 25 12 p.m. Washington Wizards at New York Knicks
Wed, Jan. 7 7 p.m. Houston Rockets at Cleveland Cavaliers
9:30 p.m. Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves
Fri, Jan. 9 8 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards
10:30 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors
Wed, Jan. 14 8 p.m. Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics
10:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
Fri, Jan. 16 8 p.m. Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder
10:30 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Clippers
Mon, Jan. 19 2:30 p.m. Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks
Wed, Jan. 21 8 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Washington Wizards
10:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors
Fri, Jan. 23 8 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks
Wed, Jan. 28 8 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at New York Knicks
10:30 p.m. Washington Wizards at Phoenix Suns
Fri, Jan. 30 8 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat
10:30 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns
Sat, Jan. 31 9 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs
Sun, Feb. 1 2 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks
Wed, Feb. 4 8 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Houston Rockets
10:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors
Fri, Feb. 6 7 p.m. New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
9:30 p.m. Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs
Wed, Feb. 11 8 p.m. Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers
10:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers
Fri, Feb. 20 8 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards
10:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors
Wed, Feb. 25 8 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets
10:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers
Fri, Feb. 27 8 p.m. Miami Heat at New Orleans Pelicans
10:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers
Wed, Mar. 4 8 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat
10:30 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Clippers
Fri, Mar. 6 8 p.m. Miami Heat at Washington Wizards
10:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors
Wed, Mar. 11 8 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder
10:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers
Mon, Mar. 16 8 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat
10:30 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors
Wed, Mar. 18 8 p.m. Indiana Pacers at Chicago Bulls
10:30 p.m. Washington Wizards at Utah Jaz
Wed, Mar. 25 7 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks
9:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs
Fri, Apr. 3 8 p.m. Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls
10:30 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers
Wed, Apr. 8 7 p.m. Toronto Raptors at Charlotte Hornets
9:30 p.m. Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks
Wed, Apr. 15 8 p.m. Charlotte Hornets at Toronto Raptors
10:30 p.m. Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors

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College Football Lives at ESPN: From the Season’s First Games to National Championships

ESPN-college-football 
College Football Lives at ESPN: From the Season’s First Games to National Championships
  • More than 450 Games including Teams from All 10 FBS Conferences
  • 55 Games in Six Days During Seventh Annual Kickoff Week
  • More than 45 Games on New SEC Network
  • Exclusive Coverage of New College Football Playoff and Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs
 
ESPN’s 2014 college football schedule – more than 450 games across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPNEWS, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, ESPN Radio and ESPN Goal Line – will begin with the season’s first televised matchups (August 23 and August 27) and conclude with the new four-team College Football Playoff. This season marks the first of a 12-year agreement providing ESPN with exclusive coverage of the College Football Playoff national championship game and semifinals, as well as the four bowl games that are part of the rotation to host the semifinals.
 
Every ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3, SEC Network and Longhorn Network game will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
 
The new FCS Kickoff, pitting Sam Houston State at Eastern Washington, on ESPN on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 3:30 p.m. ET and Abilene Christian at Georgia State on ESPNU on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. will mark the first Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) games of the season. The majority of Saturday game selections will be made as the season progresses, generally 12 or six days before the date of the game.
 
“We’re committed to providing fans with a multiplatform college football schedule that captures the breadth of the sport,” said Rosalyn Durant, ESPN vice president, college sports programming. “With year-round coverage that includes recruiting, spring games, and an extensive regular and post-season lineup that culminates with the inaugural College Football Playoff – ESPN is the home of college football.”
 
The lineup of announced games includes at least one team from all 10 FBS conferences (American Athletic, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Pac-12, Southeastern and Sun Belt) plus independents Notre Dame, BYU and Navy. Teams from FCS leagues Big Sky, Big South, Colonial Athletic, Ivy League, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Missouri Valley Football Conference, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Pioneer, Southern, Southland, Southwestern Athletic and independent Charlotte will also be included. Highlights:
 
  • Kickoff Week – 55 Games in Six Days: ESPN’s seventh annual DICK’s Sporting Goods Kickoff Week will include 55 games from Wednesday, Aug. 27, to Monday, Sept. 1. The schedule – the most-ever over the Labor Day Kickoff Week – will showcase top conference and non-conference matchups over six days. The Labor Day Monday prime-time telecast at 8 p.m. will mark the ACC debut for Louisville with the Cardinals hosting Miami (Fla.).
  • Extensive Schedule on SEC Network: The new SEC Network will present more than 45 SEC games on the new SEC Network, highlighted by a weekly Saturday tripleheader. The national network will kick off its coverage with a doubleheader on Thursday, Aug. 28: Texas A&M at South Carolina at 6 p.m. followed by Temple at Vanderbilt at 9:15 p.m. SEC Network will showcase a home contest from all 14 conference stadiums within its first 16 game telecasts of the season.
  • Record Bowl Coverage Highlighted by New College Football Playoff: ESPN will televise a record 38 post-season bowl games, highlighted by exclusive coverage of the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff. The College Football Playoff schedule will include New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day tripleheaders – the “New Year’s Six” – showcasing the semifinals and four additional premier bowls. ESPN will showcase the first-ever College Football National Championship in a Monday prime time telecast.
  • Weeknights Under the Lights: An extensive weeknight schedule of 93 live games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, SEC Network and ESPN Radio will showcase a minimum of 97 different programs. The lineup will include at least one team from nine Football Bowl Subdivision conferences (American Athletic, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Pac-12, Southeastern and Sun Belt) plus independent BYU; at least one from seven FCS conferences (Big Sky, Big South, Colonial Athletic, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Southern, Southland and Southwestern Athletic) and seven squads from the Division II Gulf South Conference.
  • Five Days Straight: The schedule in November will include at least one game on an ESPN network every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday over three consecutive weeks (Nov. 4-8, Nov. 11-15 and Nov. 18-22).
  • Goal Line: For the fifth consecutive season, the ESPN Goal Line network will offer unlimited live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college football games every Saturday beginning at noon. Goal Line is currently available through affiliated providers.
  • FCS Beginning to End: ESPN will close out an extensive regular-season schedule of FCS action with exclusive coverage of all 23 games of the FCS Championship (November 29 to January 10).
 
2014 ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3, SEC Network, Longhorn Network and ESPN Radio College Football Schedule (as of August 15)
Note: Schedule subject to change
 
Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sat, Aug 23 3:30 p.m. 2014 FCS Kickoff: Sam Houston State at Eastern Washington ESPN
Wed, Aug 27 7 p.m. Abilene Christian at Georgia State ESPNU
Thu, Aug 28 6 p.m. Texas A&M at South Carolina SEC Network
7 p.m. Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe ESPNU
7 p.m. Howard at Akron ESPN3
7 p.m. Presbyterian at Northern Illinois ESPN3
7 p.m. Tennessee-Chattanooga at Central Michigan ESPN3
8 p.m. 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Boise State vs. Ole Miss (Atlanta) ESPN & ESPN Radio
8 p.m. Cal Poly at New Mexico State ESPN3
9:15 p.m. Temple at Vanderbilt SEC Network
10 p.m. North Dakota at San Jose State ESPN3
Fri, Aug 29 7 p.m. BYU at Connecticut ESPN
7:30 p.m. Villanova at Syracuse ESPN3
9 p.m. Texas-San Antonio at Houston ESPNU
10:30 p.m. UNLV at Arizona ESPN
Sat, Aug 30 8:30 a.m. 2014 Croke Park Classic: Penn State vs. Central Florida (Dublin, Ireland) ESPN2
Noon UCLA at Virginia ESPN
Noon Appalachian State at Michigan ESPN2
Noon Western Michigan at Purdue ESPNU
Noon Indiana State at Indiana ESPNEWS
Noon Tennessee-Martin at Kentucky SEC Network
Noon Delaware at Pittsburgh ESPN3
12:30 p.m. Georgia Southern at NC State ESPN3 *
12:30 p.m. Wofford at Georgia Tech ESPN3 *
2 p.m. Colgate at Ball State ESPN3
2 p.m. Nicholls State at Air Force ESPN3
3 p.m. Boston College at Massachusetts (Foxborough, Mass.) ESPN3
3:30 p.m. 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: West Virginia vs. Alabama (Atlanta) ABC & ESPN2 ** & ESPN Radio
Cal at Northwestern ABC & ESPN2 **
3:30 p.m. South Dakota State at Missouri ESPNU
3:30 p.m. Duquesne at Buffalo ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Marshall at Miami (Ohio) ESPN3
4 p.m. William & Mary at Virginia Tech ESPNEWS
4 p.m. Arkansas at Auburn SEC Network
5:30 p.m. Clemson at Georgia ESPN
6 p.m. Elon at Duke ESPN3
6 p.m. Liberty at North Carolina ESPN3
6 p.m. Morgan State at Eastern Michigan ESPN3
6 p.m. Ohio at Kent State ESPN3
6 p.m. Holy Cross at Albany ESPN3
7 p.m. Idaho at Florida ESPNU
7 p.m. New Hampshire at Toledo ESPN3
7 p.m. Montana State at Arkansas State ESPN3
7 p.m. Southern at Louisiana-Lafayette ESPN3
7 p.m. Arkansas Pine-Bluff at Texas State ESPN3
7 p.m. Austin Peay at Memphis ESPN3
7 p.m. Western Carolina at South Florida ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Southern Miss at Mississippi State SEC Network
7:30 p.m. Fresno State at USC ESPN Radio
8 p.m. 2014 Cowboys Classic: Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (Arlington) ABC & ESPN Radio
8 p.m. NC Central at East Carolina ESPNEWS
8 p.m. North Texas at Texas Longhorn Network
9 p.m. 2014 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff: Wisconsin vs. LSU (Houston) ESPN
Sun, Aug 31 11:45 a.m. 2014 MEAC/SWAC Challenge: Alabama A&M vs. North Carolina A&T (Orlando) ESPN
7 p.m. Utah State at Tennessee SEC Network
Mon, Sep 1 8 p.m. Miami (Fla.) at Louisville ESPN
Fri, Sep 5 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at Boston College ESPN
10:30 p.m. Washington State at Nevada ESPN
Sat, Sep 6 Noon Akron at Penn State ABC %
Noon Oklahoma at Tulsa ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Noon Missouri at Toledo ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
Noon McNeese State at Nebraska ESPNU
Noon Central Michigan at Purdue ESPNEWS
Noon Florida Atlantic at Alabama SEC Network
Noon Arkansas State at Tennessee SEC Network
Noon Stony Brook at Connecticut ESPN3 *
12:30 p.m. South Carolina State at Clemson ESPN3 *
1 p.m. Navy at Temple ESPN3
2 p.m. UAB at Mississippi State ESPN3 *
2 p.m. New Mexico State at Georgia State ESPN3
2 p.m. South Alabama at Kent State ESPN3
3 p.m. Colorado at Massachusetts (Foxborough, Mass.) ESPN3
3:30 p.m. USC at Stanford ABC
3:30 p.m. Ball State at Iowa ESPN2
3:30 p.m. Ohio at Kentucky ESPNU
3:30 p.m. Richmond at Virginia ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Virginia Military Institute at Bowling Green ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Eastern Kentucky at Miami (Ohio) ESPN3
4 p.m. Georgia Tech at Tulane ESPNEWS
4 p.m. Eastern Michigan at Florida SEC Network
4 p.m. Nicholls State at Arkansas SEC Network
4:30 p.m. Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt (Nashville) ESPN
6 p.m. Savannah State at Georgia Southern ESPN3
6 p.m. Campbell at Appalachian State ESPN3
6 p.m. Old Dominion at NC State ESPN3
6 p.m. Furman at Mercer ESPN3
6:30 p.m. Gardner-Webb at Wake Forest ESPN3
7 p.m. San Jose State at Auburn ESPN2 or ESPNU
7 p.m. East Carolina at South Carolina ESPN2 or ESPNU
7 p.m. Murray State at Louisville ESPN3
7 p.m. Florida A&M at Miami (Fla.) ESPN3
7 p.m. Idaho at Louisiana-Monroe ESPN3
7 p.m. Louisiana Tech at Louisiana-Lafayette ESPN3
7 p.m. Duke at Troy ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Sam Houston State at LSU SEC Network
7:30 p.m. Lamar at Texas A&M SEC Network
7:30 p.m. The Citadel at Florida State ESPN3 *
7:30 p.m. BYU at Texas ESPN Radio
8 p.m. Virginia Tech at Ohio State ESPN
8 p.m. San Diego State at North Carolina ESPNEWS
8 p.m. Grambling at Houston ESPN3
10:15 p.m. Colorado State at Boise State ESPN2
10:15 p.m. Air Force at Wyoming ESPNU
Thu, Sep 11 7 p.m. North Alabama at Mississippi College ESPN3
9 p.m. Houston at BYU ESPN
Fri, Sep 12 7 p.m. Toledo at Cincinnati ESPNU
8 p.m. Baylor at Buffalo ESPN
Sat, Sep 13 Noon Kent State at Ohio State ESPN, ABC or ESPN2
Noon Boise State at Connecticut ESPN, ABC or ESPN2
Noon East Carolina at Virginia Tech ESPN, ABC or ESPN2
Noon Indiana at Bowling Green ESPNU or ESPNEWS
Noon Syracuse at Central Michigan ESPNU or ESPNEWS
Noon Central Florida at Missouri SEC Network
Noon Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech ESPN3 *
Noon Massachusetts at Vanderbilt ESPN3 *
12:30 p.m. Louisville at Virginia ESPN3 *
2 p.m. Air Force at Georgia State ESPN3
3 p.m. Indiana State at Ball State ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Iowa State at Iowa ESPN, ABC or ESPN2
3:30 p.m. Arkansas at Texas Tech ESPN, ABC or ESPN2
3:30 p.m. Arkansas State at Miami (Fla.) ESPNU
3:30 p.m. Kansas at Duke ESPN3 *
3:30 p.m. Incarnate Word at North Dakota State ESPN3
4 p.m. Mississippi State at South Alabama ESPNEWS
4 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at Ole Miss SEC Network
5 p.m. Western Michigan at Idaho ESPN3
6 p.m. Southern Miss at Alabama ESPN2
7 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at LSU ESPNU
7 p.m. Abilene Christian at Troy ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Kentucky at Florida SEC Network & ESPN Radio
8 p.m. Tennessee at Oklahoma ESPN or ABC
8 p.m. USC at Boston College ESPN or ABC
8 p.m. Navy at Texas State ESPNEWS
8 p.m. Southeastern Louisiana at Tulane ESPN3
9 p.m. Rice at Texas A&M ESPN2
10 p.m. Arizona State at Colorado ESPNU
Thu, Sep 18 7:30 p.m. Auburn at Kansas State ESPN & ESPN Radio
7:30 p.m. Arkansas Pine-Bluff at Alabama State ESPNU
Fri, Sep 19 8 p.m. Connecticut at South Florida ESPN or ESPN2
Sat, Sep 20 Noon Troy at Georgia SEC Network
1 p.m. Delaware State at Temple ESPN3
1 p.m. Eastern Kentucky at Tennessee-Martin ESPN3
3 p.m. Virginia Military Institute at Samford ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Montana at North Dakota State ESPN3
4 p.m. Incarnate Word at Abilene Christian ESPN3
4 p.m. 2014 New York Urban League Football Classic: Howard vs. Morgan State (East Rutherford, N.J.) ESPN3 ^
6 p.m. Bethune-Cookman at Central Florida ESPN3
7 p.m. Delta State at Valdosta State ESPN3
8 p.m. Miami (Fla.) at Nebraska ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 & ESPN Radio
Thu, Sep 25 7:30 p.m. Texas Tech at Oklahoma State ESPN
7:30 p.m. Appalachian State at Georgia Southern ESPNU
10 p.m. UCLA at Arizona State ESPN Radio
Fri, Sep 26 8 p.m. Fresno State at New Mexico ESPN or ESPN2
Sat, Sep 27 4 p.m. Nicholls State at Central Arkansas ESPN3
5 p.m. Southern at Alcorn State ESPN3 ^
7 p.m. Valdosta State at North Alabama ESPN3
TBD Oregon State at USC ESPN Radio
TBD UNLV at San Diego State TBD
Thu, Oct 2 7 p.m. Central Florida at Houston ESPN
7 p.m. Delta State at Florida Tech ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Alabama State at Alcorn State ESPNU
10:30 p.m. Arizona at Oregon ESPN
Fri, Oct 3 7 p.m. Louisville at Syracuse ESPN
10:15 p.m. Utah State at BYU ESPN
Sat, Oct 4 1:30 p.m. Charlotte at Gardner-Webb ESPN3
1:30 p.m. The Citadel at Wofford ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Atlanta Football Classic: South Carolina State vs. North Carolina A&T (Atlanta) ESPN3
4 p.m. Northwestern State at Southeastern Louisiana ESPN3
4 p.m. North Dakota State at Western Illinois ESPN3
7 p.m. Central Arkansas at Stephen F. Austin ESPN3
8 p.m. Nebraska at Michigan State ESPN, ABC or ESPN2
TBD Arizona State at USC ESPN Radio
TBD UNLV at San Jose State TBD
TBD Ohio Valley TBD ESPN3
Thu, Oct 9 7 p.m. Shorter at Delta State ESPN3
7:30 p.m. BYU at Central Florida ESPN
7:30 p.m. Hampton at North Carolina A&T ESPNU
Fri, Oct 10 9 p.m. Washington State at Stanford ESPN
9:30 p.m. San Diego State at New Mexico ESPNU
Sat, Oct 11 1 p.m. Duquesne at Central Connecticut State ESPN3
2 p.m. Coastal Carolina at Presbyterian ESPN3
2 p.m. Southern Illinois at North Dakota State ESPN3
3 p.m. Jacksonville State at Tennessee State ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Wofford at Western Carolina ESPN3
4 p.m. Northern Iowa at South Dakota ESPN3
4 p.m. McNeese State at Sam Houston State ESPN3
7 p.m. Penn State at Michigan ESPN or ESPN2
7 p.m. Incarnate Word at Northwestern State ESPN3
TBD Louisville at Clemson ESPN Radio
TBD Air Force at Utah State TBD
Tue, Oct 14 8 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at Texas State ESPN2
Thu, Oct 16 7 p.m. West Alabama at Shorter ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh ESPN
Fri, Oct 17 8 p.m. Fresno State at Boise State ESPN
9 p.m. Temple at Houston ESPNU
Sat, Oct 18 1 p.m. Norfolk State at Hampton ESPN3 ^
3 p.m. Presbyterian at Charleston Southern ESPN3
3 p.m. South Dakota at Missouri State ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Indiana State at North Dakota State ESPN3
4 p.m. Sam Houston State at Northwestern State ESPN3
7 p.m. Eastern Kentucky at Tennessee Tech ESPN3
7 p.m. Abilene Christian at McNeese State ESPN3
7 p.m. Murray State at Austin Peay ESPN3
8 p.m. Iowa State at Texas Longhorn Network
TBD Kansas State at Oklahoma ESPN Radio
TBD San Jose State at Wyoming TBD
Tue, Oct 21 8 p.m. Arkansas State at Louisiana-Lafayette ESPN2
Thu, Oct 23 7 p.m. Connecticut at East Carolina ESPNU
7:30 p.m. Miami (Fla.) at Virginia Tech ESPN
Fri, Oct 24 7 p.m. South Florida at Cincinnati ESPN or ESPN2
7:30 p.m. Troy at South Alabama ESPNU
9 p.m. BYU at Boise State ESPN or ESPN2
Sat, Oct 25 1 p.m. Saint Francis at Sacred Heart ESPN3
1 p.m. Harvard at Princeton ESPN3
2:30 p.m. Tennessee State at Eastern Illinois ESPN3
3 p.m. Youngstown State at South Dakota State ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Gardner-Webb at Liberty ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Magic City Classic: Alabama A&M at Alabama State (Birmingham) ESPN3 ^
4 p.m. Southeastern Louisiana at Stephen F. Austin ESPN3
7 p.m. West Georgia at North Alabama ESPN3
7 p.m. Indiana State at Southern Illinois ESPN3
8 p.m. Ohio State at Penn State ESPN, ABC or ESPN2
8 p.m. Nicholls State at Houston Baptist ESPN3
TBD Ole Miss at LSU ESPN Radio
TBD UNLV at Utah State TBD
Thu, Oct 30 7 p.m. Valdosta State at West Alabama ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Florida State at Louisville ESPN
7:30 p.m. Troy at Georgia Southern ESPNU
Fri, Oct 31 8 p.m. Tulsa at Memphis ESPN2 or ESPNU
8 p.m. Cincinnati at Tulane ESPN2 or ESPNU
Sat, Nov 1 Noon Central Connecticut State at Bryant ESPN3
1 p.m. Charleston Southern at Monmouth ESPN3
1:30 p.m. Furman at Virginia Military Institute ESPN3
3:30 p.m. Sacred Heart at Wagner ESPN3
3:30 p.m. South Dakota State at North Dakota State ESPN3
4 p.m. Stephen F. Austin vs. Sam Houston State (Houston) ESPN3
7 p.m. Houston Baptist at Lamar ESPN3
8 p.m. Illinois at Ohio State ESPN, ABC or ESPN2
TBD Florida at Georgia ESPN Radio
TBD Auburn at Ole Miss ESPN Radio
TBD Wyoming at Fresno State TBD
TBD Ohio Valley TBD ESPN3
Tue, Nov 4 8 p.m. Bowling Green at Akron ESPN2 or ESPNU
8 p.m. Toledo at Kent State ESPN2 or ESPNU
Wed, Nov 5 8 p.m. Buffalo at Ohio ESPN2 or ESPNU
8 p.m. Northern Illinois at Ball State ESPN2 or ESPNU
Thu, Nov 6 7 p.m. West Alabama at Mississippi College ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Clemson at Wake Forest ESPN & ESPN Radio
7:30 p.m. Bethune-Cookman at Norfolk State ESPNU
7:30 p.m. Grambling at Mississippi Valley State ESPN3 ^^
Fri, Nov 7 7:30 p.m. Memphis at Temple ESPNU
8 p.m. Utah State at Wyoming ESPN2
Sat, Nov 8 11 a.m. Gardner-Webb at Charleston Southern ESPN3
Noon Wagner at Robert Morris ESPN3
2 p.m. Florida Tech at West Georgia ESPN3
2 p.m. Southeastern Missouri at Tennessee Tech ESPN3
2 p.m. Youngstown State at Illinois State ESPN3
4 p.m. Lamar at Central Arkansas ESPN3
8 p.m. Ohio State at Michigan State ABC
TBD Alabama at LSU ESPN Radio
TBD Texas A&M at Auburn ESPN Radio
TBD Wofford at Tennessee-Chattanooga ESPN3
TBD Hawaii at Colorado State TBD
Tue, Nov 11 8 p.m. Akron at Buffalo ESPN2 or ESPNU
8 p.m. Toledo at Northern Illinois ESPN2 or ESPNU
Wed, Nov 12 8 p.m. Ball State at Massachusetts (Amherst, Mass.) ESPN2 or ESPNU
8 p.m. Kent State at Bowling Green ESPN2 or ESPNU
Thu, Nov 13 7 p.m. East Carolina at Cincinnati ESPN2
7 p.m. North Alabama at West Alabama ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Bethune-Cookman at Hampton ESPNU
9 p.m. California at USC ESPN & ESPN Radio
Fri, Nov 14 8 p.m. Tulsa at Central Florida ESPN2
Sat, Nov 15 Noon Bryant at Sacred Heart ESPN3
Noon Wofford at Furman ESPN3
3 p.m. Monmouth at Coastal Carolina ESPN3
3 p.m. Northern Iowa at Southern Illinois ESPN3
4 p.m. Eastern Illinois at Jacksonville State ESPN3
4 p.m. McNeese State at Southeastern Louisiana ESPN3
TBD Florida State at Miami (Fla.) ESPN Radio
TBD Mississippi State at Alabama ESPN Radio
TBD San Diego State at Boise State TBD
TBD New Mexico at Utah State TBD
Tue, Nov 18 8 p.m. Northern Illinois at Ohio ESPNU or ESPN3
8 p.m. Massachusetts at Akron ESPNU or ESPN3
Wed, Nov 19 8 p.m. Kent State at Buffalo ESPN2 or ESPNU
8 p.m. Bowling Green at Toledo ESPN2 or ESPNU
Thu, Nov 20 7:30 p.m. North Carolina at Duke ESPN & ESPN Radio
9:30 p.m. Arkansas State at Texas State ESPNU
Fri, Nov 21 9:30 p.m. San Jose State at Utah State ESPN2
Sat, Nov 22 Noon Robert Morris at Duquesne ESPN3
1 p.m. Dartmouth at Princeton ESPN3
1:30 p.m. The Citadel at Virginia Military Institute ESPN3
2 p.m. Florida Classic: Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M (Orlando) ESPN Classic
3:30 p.m. Youngstown State at North Dakota State ESPN3
4 p.m. Southland TBD ESPN3
TBD Oklahoma State at Baylor ESPN Radio
TBD Vanderbilt at Mississippi State ESPN Radio
TBD Liberty at Coastal Carolina ESPN3
TBD Fresno State at Nevada TBD
TBD Boise State at Wyoming TBD
Tue, Nov 25 7 p.m. Ohio at Miami (Ohio) ESPN2 or ESPN3
7 p.m. Akron at Kent State ESPN2 or ESPN3
Thu, Nov 27 7:30 p.m. LSU at Texas A&M ESPN
Fri, Nov 28 3:30 p.m. Stanford at UCLA ABC & ESPN Radio
TBD Virginia at Virginia Tech ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU
TBD Northern Illinois at Western Michigan ESPNU or ESPN3
TBD Ball State at Bowling Green ESPNU or ESPN3
TBD Toledo at Eastern Michigan ESPNU or ESPN3
TBD Buffalo at Massachusetts (Amherst, Mass.) ESPNU or ESPN3
Sat, Nov 29 TBD Michigan at Ohio State ESPN Radio
TBD Notre Dame at USC ESPN Radio
TBD Utah State at Boise State TBD
TBD Nevada at UNLV TBD
Thu, Dec 4 7:30 p.m. Central Florida at East Carolina ESPN
Fri, Dec 5 7 p.m. 2014 Marathon MAC Football Championship (Detroit) ESPN2
9 p.m. 2014 Pac-12 Championship Game ESPN Radio
Sat, Dec 6 4 p.m. 2014 SWAC Championship (Houston) ESPNU
7:45 or 8 p.m. 2014 Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game (Charlotte) ESPN or ABC & ESPN Radio
 
* Local blackout may apply
** Reverse mirror in which ESPN2 will regionalize two games on ABC to markets not receiving the telecast
% Potential reverse mirror
^ Available on ESPNU at 10 p.m.
^^ Available on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m.
 
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The Grantland Basketball Show with Bill Simmons to Debut October 21 on ESPN

espn-logo

First Grantland-branded Television Series to Include Up to 18 One-hour Episodes during NBA Season

ESPN will debut the first Grantland-branded television series – The Grantland Basketball Show – featuring Grantland Editor-in-chief Bill Simmons, on Tuesday, October 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Grantland Basketball Show will feature lively discussion about a variety of NBA topics, facilitated by Simmons, with a rotating group of Grantland commentators and other contributors. Up to 18 one-hour, primetime episodes of The Grantland Basketball Show will air throughout the NBA season on ESPN, including eight during the regular-season and eight during the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals. Other episodes are planned for the NBA Draft and the NBA’s free agency period.

The Grantland Basketball Show will emanate from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center. Elements from the show will also be showcased on several ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter and Grantland.As a result of the new NBA opportunity, Simmons will no longer appear as an analyst on NBA Countdown. He will continue to serve as Editor-in-chief of Grantland and co-executive producer of 30 for 30.

The Grantland Basketball Show will be created as one of the first projects from ESPN’s new Exit 31 production studio, overseen by Marie Donoghue, [senior vice president, global strategy, business development and business affairs].  Production for The Grantland Basketball Show will be overseen by Connor Schell, [vice president and executive producer, ESPN Films and original content].

John Wildhack, executive vice president, production and programming:

“We’re thrilled that Bill will continue to have a presence as part of ESPN’s NBA television efforts. The nature of The Grantland Basketball Show schedule will allow Bill to stay connected to the sport he loves, while focusing on his other priorities, including the successful Grantland site and the acclaimed 30 for 30 series.”

Marie Donoghue, senior vice president, global strategy, business development and business affairs:

The Grantland Basketball Show is a great step forward for Grantland as it continues to evolve and to expand its presence across ESPN platforms. In addition, this show is precisely the type of innovative, smart content we’re aiming to create at Exit 31. Bill is one of the industry’s leading commentators, who also happens to be a human NBA encyclopedia, with a vast knowledge of the league and its history. We couldn’t be more excited to work with Bill and help bring his vision to life.”

The Grantland Basketball Showon Twitter:@BillSimmons | @Grantland33

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Amy DuBois Barnett Named Executive Editor for ESPN Site Serving African-American Audiences

espn-logoESPN Digital & Print Media today announced that award-winning journalist Amy DuBois Barnett will join ESPN as Executive Editor of Jason Whitlock’s upcoming site that will provide coverage, commentary and insight about sports and culture directed towards an African-American audience.  In this role, Barnett will manage editorial operations for the site.  She will report to Whitlock, founder and Editor-in-Chief.

“Amy’s impressive resume across a wide range of publications and brands, as well as her leadership experience, will ensure that the site will be at the forefront of news and commentary relevant to African-Americans,” said Whitlock.  “Together, we aim to serve audiences with quality and innovative journalism when the site debuts.”

“We continue to attract highly-acclaimed editors that bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the ESPN Digital & Print Media team, and Amy is a prime example,” added Patrick Stiegman, vice president and editorial director, ESPN Digital & Print Media.  “She and Jason are building a tremendous team that will speak to, entertain, inform and serve African-American audiences about sports and culture.”

Most recently, Barnett was Editor-in-Chief of Ebony, the oldest and largest African-American magazine in the country. At Ebony, Barnett executed the publication’s first top-to-bottom redesign in its 68-year history and also re-launched Ebony.com, both to critical acclaim.

Prior to Ebony, Barnett was the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar. Barnett was also the Managing Editor of Teen People. Before Teen People, Barnett served as Editor-in-Chief of Honey magazine where she oversaw a major redesign of the magazine.  Prior to Honey, Barnett was with Essence magazine, heading up the publication’s style content and lifestyle department.

For her work as a journalist, Barnett was named the 2012 Media Executive of the Year by Target Market News.  In 2013, she was included on the Folio 100, a list that honors the most innovative and influential professionals in magazine media.

This past school year, Barnett was also an Adjunct Professor of Management & Organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, teaching a Spring semester class on Shifting Business Frameworks in Media and Entertainment.

A Brown University graduate, Barnett also has an M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

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USA-Portugal: Most-Viewed Soccer Match Ever in U.S.

FIFA-World-Cup-2014_Logo-espnUSA-Portugal: Most-Viewed Soccer Match Ever in U.S.
  • ESPN Telecast Averages 18,220,000 Viewers and Peaks with 22,961,000 viewers
  • Match Generates WatchESPN Viewership Records
  • Most-viewed Non-Football Telecast on ESPN Ever
  • Significant Viewership Growth Over 2010 and 2006, including in All Key Demos
  • Sets Rating Record in 18 markets; Washington, D.C.; New York and San Francisco Highest-Rated Thru 32 Games
 
ESPN’s telecast of the United States’ 2-2 tie against Portugal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Sunday, June 22, is the most-viewed soccer match in the United States ever, across all networks, averaging 18,220,000 viewers based on a 9.6 HH US rating. It surpassed the previous high of 17,975,000 viewers for the 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC. Additional television highlights:
 
  • The telecast peaked from 7:30 to 8 p.m. ET with an average of 22,961,000 viewers and an 11.9 HH US rating.
  • The match is ESPN’s most-viewed program excluding NFL and college football telecasts.
  • While Sunday’s 9.6 HH US rating is the highest-rated men’s soccer telecast ever (topping a 9.5 for Italy vs. Brazil in the 1994 final), it is the second highest-rated soccer match overall behind an 11.4 HH US rating for 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC.
  • The first 2014 FIFA World Cup match involving the United States (a 2-1 victory over Ghana) averaged 11,093,000 viewers and a 6.3 HH US rating, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed men’s soccer match on ESPN or ESPN2 on record at the time.
 
In addition to setting a television viewership record, Sunday’s match also set product records on WatchESPN with a 490,000 average minute audience, and total of 1,373,000 viewers and 61,691,000 minutes viewed.
 
Significant Television Viewership Increases Over 2010 and 2006
Overall, ESPN’s 2014 World Cup coverage is posting significant viewership increases over 2010 and 2006. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to average 4,273,000 viewers and a 2.6 HH US rating through the first 32 matches, marking increases of 50 percent and 109 percent (vs. 2,857,000 in 2010 and 2,048,000 in 2006), and 44 percent and 86 percent (vs. 1.8 in 2010 and 1.4 in 2006), respectively.
 
In addition, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have posted significant audience increases in every key people and male demographic, highlighted by double-digit growth in the 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 categories.
 
WatchESPN Growth Over 2010
WatchESPN has averaged 259,000 viewers in the average minute across 32 World Cup matches, which represents a six percent lift over the ESPN Networks’ English language TV audience for a total of 4,533,000 viewers across TV and WatchESPN.
 
In addition, WatchESPN has posted a 158 percent increase in viewers and 167 percent in minutes through the first 32 games, averaging 759,000 viewers and 33,319,000 minutes viewed per match.
 
Success beyond USA Matches
In addition to Sunday’s record telecast, ESPN tied the record for the highest-rated World Cup match not involving the United States on ESPN or ESPN2, averaging a 3.4 US HH rating and 5,735,000 viewers for Germany vs. Ghana on Saturday, June 21 (tied with the 2006 Italy vs. Germany semifinal). Overall, the 2014 World Cup coverage has delivered six of the highest-rated and most-viewed Group Play matches not involving a United States team on ESPN and ESPN2.
 
Metered Markets
Washington, D.C., led all markets for ESPN’s USA vs. Portugal telecast with a 13.3 rating, followed by Columbus (12.6), New York (12.5), Boston (11.5), Hartford/New Haven (11.3), Providence (11.2), Atlanta (11.1), Baltimore (11.0), Norfolk (10.5), Orlando (10.5) and Sacramento (10.5).
 
Eighteen markets recorded their highest overnight rating for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2, including seven that were among the top 10 largest for the telecast: Columbus, Boston, Hartford/New Haven, Providence, Atlanta, Baltimore and Sacramento. The additional 11, ordered by highest rating: Kansas City (10.1), Dayton (8.9), St. Louis (8.7), Jacksonville (8.4), Tampa/St. Petersburg (8.3), Nashville (7.8), Greenville (7.6), Greensboro (7.5), Memphis (7.5), Pittsburgh (6.9) and Birmingham (5.8).
 
Overall, Washington, D.C., continues to lead all markets for matches on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the first 32 games with a 5.0 average rating, followed by New York (4.3), San Francisco (4.1), Orlando (3.8), Los Angeles (3.7), Hartford/New Haven (3.7), Atlanta (3.6), San Diego (3.5), Boston (3.5), West Palm Beach (3.5) and Richmond (3.5).
 
Upcoming ESPN World Cup Coverage
ESPN’s FIFA World Cup coverage continues this week with two matches at 11:30 a.m. and two at 3:30 p.m. each day from today through the completion of Group Play on Thursday, June 26. The match for the United States (against Germany) airs on Thursday, June 26, at 11:30 a.m. (on ESPN).
 
ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the tournament includes all 64 matches televised live on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, as well as 54 matches on ESPN Deportes and another 10 on ESPN Deportes+.  ABC’s matches will also available on WATCH ABC. Schedule.
 
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ESPN TV and Radio Commentators for 2014 FIFA World Cup, Through June 26

FIFA-World-Cup-2014_Logo-espnESPN’s month-long coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil continues with of Group Stage matches, culminating Thursday, June 26. Lead play-by-play commentator Ian Darke and analyst Taylor Twellman will call the much-anticipated United States vs. Portugal match from Manaus on Sunday, June 22, at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, while JP Dellacamera and Tommy Smyth will provide commentary on ESPN Radio’s broadcast of the match. Other weekend highlights:

  • Jon Champion and Stewart Robson will call Germany vs. Ghana, a key match in Group G, on Saturday, June 21, at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN;
  • Fernando Palomo and Alejandro Moreno, ESPN’s English-language commentating team for Mexican National Team matches, will describe the action from Croatia vs. Mexico, a decisive Group A match,on Monday, June 23, at 3:30 a.m. on ESPN;
  • Darke and Steve McManaman will call Costa Rica vs. England on Tuesday, June 24, at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2;

ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the tournament includes all 64 matches televised live on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, as well as 54 matches on ESPN Deportes and another 10 on ESPN Deportes+.  ESPN Radio is also broadcasting all 64 matches.

ESPN 2014 FIFA World Cup Media Kit

2014 WORLD CUP TV SCHEDULE – ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC (All matches also airing on ESPN Radio)

u  All times EASTERN  u  Schedule is subject to change  u  ABC Sports broadcasts in italics

Date Time (ET) Network Match Group Site Match #
Fri 6/20 11:30 a.m. ESPN Italy vs. Costa Rica

TV: Derek Rae, Kasey Keller
Radio: JP Dellacamera, Tommy Smyth

D Recife 24
  2:30 p.m. ESPN Switzerland vs. France

TV: Daniel Mann, Efan Ekoku
Radio: Ross Dyer, Shep Messing

E Salvador 25
  5:30 p.m. ESPN Honduras vs. Ecuador

TV: Fernando Palomo, Alejandro Moreno
Radio: Mark Donaldson, Janusz Michallik

E Curitiba 26
Sat 6/21 11:30 a.m. ESPN Argentina vs. Iran

TV: Adrian Healey, Roberto Martinez
Radio: Donaldson, Michallik

F Belo Horizonte 27
  2:30 p.m. ESPN Germany vs. Ghana

TV: Jon Champion, Stewart Robson
Radio: Dellacamera, Smyth

G Fortaleza 29
  5:30 p.m. ESPN Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina

TV: Mann, Ekoku
Radio: Dyer, Messing

F Cuiaba 28
Sun 6/22 11:30 a.m. ABC Belgium vs. Russia

TV: Rae, Ekoku
Radio: Donaldon, Paul Mariner

H Rio de Janeiro 31
  2:30 p.m. ABC South Korea vs. Algeria

TV: Mann, Keller
Radio: Dyer, Michallik

H Porto Alegre 32
  5:30 p.m. ESPN United States vs. Portugal

TV: Darke, Taylor Twellman
Radio: Dellacamera, Smyth

G Manaus 30
Mon 6/23 11:30 a.m. ESPN Netherlands vs. Chile

TV: Champion, Robson
Radio: Dyer, Messing

B Sao Paulo 36
  11:30 a.m. ESPN2 Australia vs. Spain

TV: Mann, Keller
Radio: Dellacamera, Smyth

B Curitiba 35
  3:30 p.m. ESPN Croatia vs. Mexico

TV: Palomo, Moreno
Radio: Donaldson, Michallik

A Recife 34
  3:30 p.m. ESPN2 Cameroon vs. Brazil

TV: Healey, Ekoku
Radio: Dyer, Messing

A Brasilia 33
Tue 6/24 11:30 a.m. ESPN Italy vs. Uruguay

TV: Champion, Robson
Radio: Dellacamera, Smyth

D Natal 39
  11:30 a.m. ESPN2 Costa Rica vs. England

TV: Darke, Steve McManaman
Radio: Dyer, Michallik

D Belo Horizonte 40
  3:30 p.m. ESPN Japan vs. Colombia

TV: Mann, Twellman
Radio: Donaldson, Mariner

C Cuiaba 37
  3:30 p.m. ESPN2 Greece vs. Ivory Coast

TV: Rae, Keller
Radio: Dyer, Michallik

C Fortaleza 38
Wed 6/25 11:30 a.m. ESPN Nigeria vs. Argentina

TV: Rae, Ekoku
Radio: Dellacamera, Smyth

F Porto Alegre 43
  11:30 a.m. ESPN2 Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran

TV: Mann, Craig Burley
Radio: Dyer, Messing

F Salvador 44
  3:30 p.m. ESPN Ecuador vs. France

TV: Healey, Moreno
Radio: Dyer, Messing

E Rio de Janeiro 42
  3:30 p.m. ESPN2 Honduras vs. Switzerland

TV: Palomo, Keller
Radio: Donaldson, Michallik

E Manaus 41
Thu 6/26 11:30 a.m. ESPN United States vs. Germany

TV: Darke, Twellman
Radio: Dellacamera, Smyth

G Recife 45
  11:30 a.m. ESPN2 Portugal vs. Ghana

TV: Champion, Robson
Radio: Dyer, Messing

G Brasilia 46
  3:30 p.m. ESPN South Korea vs. Belgium

TV: Healey, Moreno
Radio: Donaldson, Mariner

H Sao Paulo 47
  3:30 p.m. ESPN2 Algeria vs. Russia

TV: Rae, Ekoku
Radio: Dyer, Messing

H Curitiba 48

 

ESPN Inc.’s 2014 FIFA World Cup in the United States

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be ESPN’s eighth World Cup and most comprehensive presentation to date.  ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will combine to air all 64 matches live and in high definition (June 12 – July 13). All ESPN and ESPN2 games will be available on WatchESPN, while ABC matches will be available on WATCH ABC. ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network available in more than 85 million homes, will present matches live in multiple languages (other than English and Spanish).

ESPN’s presentation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will include comprehensive news and information coverage of the month-long soccer showcase with renowned journalists reporting on the tournament and the host country of Brazil. Additional English-language coverage of the quadrennial event will total more than 90 hours of original programming and will include SportsCenter at the World Cup,anightly World Cup Tonight program, ESPN FC World Cup Encore, a 30-minute pre-match show, halftime and post-match segments, as well as a World Cup-branded ESPN Films 30 for 30: Soccer Stories series, E:60 shows, and access-driven long-form storytelling features.

ESPN garnered more than 40 industry awards, including three Sports Emmys, for its presentation of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa – more accolades than any single event in the company’s history.

ESPN and Past FIFA World Cup Tournaments (Men’s):

South Africa 2010 – All 64 matches live and in high definition. All studio programming originated from South Africa

Germany ’06 – All 64 matches live and in high definition

Korea/Japan ’02 – 58 ESPN and ESPN2 matches live (six tape-delayed broadcasts on ABC)

France ’98 – ESPN 27, ESPN2 23 and ABC Sports 14 (all 64 matches live)

USA ’94 – ESPN, 41, and ABC, 11 (all 52 matches)

Mexico ’86 – ESPN, 15 matches (U.S. cable television rights)

Spain ’82 – ESPN, 7 matches

– 30 –

ESPN / Wimbledon Conference Call with Chrissie Evert, John McEnroe

espn-logoESPN / Wimbledon Conference Call with Chrissie Evert, John McEnroe

Starts Monday, Exclusively on ESPN Networks

Both Pick Djokovic, Serena to Win, with Dimitrov, Raonic and Bouchard as Dark Horses

Today, ESPN tennis analysts Chrissie Evert and John McEnroe spoke with media about Wimbledon, which starts Monday, June 23, exclusive to ESPN, with live action on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPN3, plus weekend programming on ABC including same-day reairs of the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Championships.

Topics on the call included:

  • Andy Murray’s recent selection of Amelie Mauresmo as coach.  McEnroe:  “(Like Murray at Wimbledon, Mauresmo) had an extreme amount of pressure on her at the French Open …She wasn’t able to be herself there.  She eventually later in her career was able to succeed and win a couple majors.  From that standpoint she’s got the understanding of what it takes emotionally and mentally to maybe get through and add that extra percent or two.”
  • Evert picks Serena to win her sixth Wimbledon, despite pressure:  “I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure on her because she did not do well in the last two Grand Slams, pretty much had bad losses.  I think all eyes are going to be on how she’s doing.  If she can get through the first week, that’s going to be the big thing.  Once she gets through the first week, gets the ball rolling, gets more comfortable on the grass, she’ll be unbeatable.  She has one thing no other woman player has, she has the serve.  She’s walking on the court 2-Love or 3-Love already.”
  • Wimbledon dark horses to watchMcEnroe:  “(T)wo guys that I think have made the biggest advances, who we’ve been waiting on the longest to potentially do some serious damage at a major event, and they’re starting to show that.  That would be Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov.  Two guys, if they had a little bit of luck, things fell their way, they could make a real run in this tournament.”  Evert:  “I think Bouchard has shown a lot of positives in the last six months as far as stepping up, not being afraid to play the top players, not to be afraid to play on a stadium court, dealing with the pressure so well.  Especially after the French, she almost beat Maria Sharapova.  She likes grass.  She likes to step in and take the ball early.  She has power.  I think she’s one to watch.”
  • McEnroe on the need to recruit the top U.S. athletes to play men’s tennis:  “If you look at Djokovic…you’re looking at the best athletes in their respective countries, like Nadal.  While we’ve had some fine athletes, I think our premiere athletes are going mainly to football and basketball…. If you ask me one thing, I’m sitting here at Randall’s Island where my tennis academy is.  My goal is to go into Harlem, the Bronx, the inner cities and give kids an opportunity, try to get enough corporate sponsorship to allow these kids an opportunity to play because the game itself remains too unaffordable for too many people.”
  • McEnroe on the advantage soccer has vs. tennis, with the World Cup:  “(World Cup) is a perfect example where soccer can flourish to some degree because for the next month there will be a lot of focus on that…When I came up, Davis Cup was the only way you could represent your country in an international competition.  It seems like watching this it’s a damn shame we don’t have something like this or haven’t tried something like this for our sport potentially.”
  • On meeting Brazilian soccer legend Pele.  Evert:  “He was my idol growing up….I loved his attitude.  He had such a sweetness about him, but he was still a killer out there.  I loved everything about him growing up.  I just thought he was a great role model as far as being an athlete both on and off the field.  He’s always been really special.  And I did meet him once and it was very special to me, too.”  McEnroe:  “He’s one of these guys that makes you feel good about everything.  He just has this smile….  The way he played, he was like the Roger Federer on a soccer field.  He was like the most beautiful guy that combined this joie de vivre, and played the way he played…He’s just a wonderful man.  He’s one of those guys that will say something nice about you before he expects you to say something nice about him.”

Q. I would like to hear from both of you on the topic of Andy Murray’s hiring of Mauresmo, what you think about that, and also Murray’s prospects heading into Wimbledon. 

EVERT:  Well, I mean, Mauresmo’s very qualified obviously.  Amélie, she’s been a good coach before.  I think she and Andy click well together.  I like the line he said, My mom, I’ve always had sort of the female influence around me concerning my tennis.  Women listen more, which is probably true.

But the great thing about Andy now is he still has that influence from Lendl.  I think there was nobody better for him at that time, a couple years ago, than Lendl.  What he’s done for his tennis, what he’s done for his fitness and his attitude on the court is incredible.  I think if he continues to carry on with Lendl’s influence and takes what Mauresmo has to offer, I think he’s in a pretty good place right now.

McENROE:  Initially when he hired Ivan, I was taken aback and surprised that he made as bold a move.  The more I thought about it, the more I thought that actually, for a variety of reasons, it would work.  It turned out it did work.  I must say when I was hearing the possibilities of who Andy was going to hire, I was sort of hoping he’d do something out of the ordinary or out of the box like he had done with Lendl.  Not the sort of I don’t want to say same old, same old, ‘retreads’ is not a fair word, but qualified coaches that had been around with a number of other players.  Definitely from that standpoint it really surprised me, however, that he picked her.  I’m not quite as convinced that it’s going to succeed in the way I thought it was with Ivan.

I do think that Chrissie was correct in saying that she’s had a fair amount of coaching experience.  I’m assuming the logistics on some level, if there’s rain delays, et cetera, I don’t know if that means, for example, Amélie Mauresmo would have access to the locker room, would that have to be done somewhere else, coaching before, probably not a whole lot is going to be done.

Clearly it’s a tricky time to walk into a new coaching job because Murray is defending his title.  It was announced just a few hours before the men’s final at the French.  I don’t know how long they knew before that’s what the plan was.  But it seems like the whole thing was orchestrated to a degree.  I don’t know to what degree the decision was made to wait two hours before the men’s final.  It certainly doesn’t give anyone a whole lot of time for the two to get a feel for each other when most if not all of the training would already be done leading up to Wimbledon.

Q. I’m wondering what you think she could bring to the table and would you ever have considered hiring a female coach when you were playing?

McENROE:  I wasn’t one for coaches, male or female.  It was surprising.  I was on the air trying to recall with Mary Carillo when we were doing the finals at the French, I couldn’t remember a time when a woman had been coaching a male.  I believe there was a brief period of time when Billie Jean may have coached Tim Mayotte, I believe.  I think there was one other occasion.  But it’s very rare.  You talk about Andy Murray’s mom.  As far as what she can bring to the table, I suppose there’s certain situations that she’s gone through similar to Andy and Ivan.  That’s part of why I think he hired Ivan, because Ivan having been in the position of having succeeded but not won slams yet at somewhat an advanced stage in tennis terms.  He had credibility because he had been there and knew what it felt like.

I know Mauresmo, there’s a similarity in the sense that she had an extreme amount of pressure on her at the French Open as opposed to Wimbledon, not nearly as much as Andy, but certainly more than most players experience.  She wasn’t able to be herself there.  She eventually later in her career was able to succeed and win a couple majors.  From that standpoint she’s got the understanding of what it takes emotionally and mentally to maybe get through and add that extra percent or two.

I can’t say that I would have thought about it at the time, although I sort of think there’s no reason why not having thought about it.  But at the time when I was playing, I can’t say that we were thinking along those lines.

Q. John, you said you would have liked to have played the best, speaking of Roger Federer at the Open and Nadal at the French.  In an imaginary match, if you were playing them, how would you break them down?  You also said you would want to get into their heads.  How would you do that? 

McENROE:  You’re talking about the most difficult propositions there is in tennis.  Did I say I wanted to play him on clay?  I sometimes put my foot in my mouth.  That may have been one of those occasions.  I thought Borg was tough to beat on clay, watching what he was able to accomplish, until I saw Rafa.  And Roger at Wimbledon or the Open would be an incredible challenge, as would Sampras at Wimbledon, particularly the older courts.  Part of the way to succeed is you have to figure out a way to believe in yourself ultimately.  This is a very mental game.  It comes down to sort of will and desire and belief.  Connors taught me this early in my career.  No matter how badly I thought I wanted it, it seemed like he wanted it more.

I think guys like Murray, Novak, even Rafa, Roger early, they had to become better because they saw how hungry the people in front of them were.  That’s sort of the ultimate test.  My game wouldn’t be that much different if I were to play them because you have to believe in your style of play, trying to take it to them, not allow players to relax.  Sort of the ultimate example of that was Pete, Boris Becker to some degree on the faster courts.  But Pete was the ultimate.  These guys get rhythm and want to wear you down.  You can’t allow that to happen.  You have to make it more of a match where every shot would count and feel like you’re going to do something as soon as you have an opportunity to do that.  That to me it’s the only hope you’d have against players of this nature, the greatest of the greats.

Q. In the spirit of the World Cup, you met Pele a good number of years ago.  How did that meeting compare with other encounters with celebrities? 

EVERT:  He was my idol growing up.  Don’t ask me why.  There are a lot of great, great athletes when I was growing up.  I just loved him.  I loved his attitude.  He had such a sweetness about him, but he was still a killer out there.  I loved everything about him growing up.  I just thought he was a great role model as far as being an athlete both on and off the field.  He’s always been really special.  And I did meet him once and it was very special to me, too.

Q. Apologies for bringing up a topic that’s been well-mined over the years.  On the men’s side, the second ranked American player as we head into Wimbledon is Steve Johnson at 68.  There’s one American male who is seeded.  I’m curious to get your thoughts on that.  Not that we can take hours to dissect this, but what you think needs to change or should change to perhaps address this seeming trend? 

McENROE:  Well, this conference call is only supposed to last an hour, so I’m not sure we have time to discuss that in this particular timeframe.  As an example, I’m watching, a lot of other people are watching some of the World Cup go on right now.  Soccer, slowly but surely is getting into the mindset of more Americans.  Obviously there are a lot of immigrants that have come in from other countries where soccer is a bigger game, as tennis is.

This is a perfect example where soccer can flourish to some degree because for the next month there will be a lot of focus on that.  We never have taken advantage of that.  When I came up, Davis Cup was the only way you could represent your country in an international competition.  It seems like watching this it’s a damn shame we don’t have something like this or haven’t tried something like this for our sport potentially.

It’s not going to be exactly the same format, but the basic idea being all the countries coming together like the World Cup.  That’s one thing that we haven’t done that I think could have helped us.  Clearly over the years the game has become, because of the technology and other reasons that we’ve talked about, more physical and athletic than it’s ever been.  Because of that you need to have better athletes.

If you look at Djokovic, it’s not like I haven’t said this or Chrissie hasn’t said this a bunch of times, you’re looking at the best athletes in their respective countries, like Nadal.  While we’ve had some fine athletes, I think our premiere athletes are going mainly to football and basketball.  Perhaps more and more of the younger ones are coming into soccer at least early on.  It remains to be seen if it becomes a longer-term thing.

If you ask me one thing, I’m sitting here at Randall’s Island where my tennis academy is.  My goal is to go into Harlem, the Bronx, the inner cities and give kids an opportunity, try to get enough corporate sponsorship to allow these kids an opportunity to play because the game itself remains too unaffordable for too many people.

Some of this is cyclical.  Some of it is we’ve done a poor job.  We got maybe spoiled is an accurate word.  We expected there would be more Connors, Pete Samprases, Agassis.  Because of the worldwide interest in sports, if you go back to the ’88 Olympics, when tennis became part of the Olympics again, more countries put more money and resources into it to allow more kids to play tennis, so more countries have more of an interest and they see the upside of it.  That same thing hasn’t happened for us in the U.S.

If you combine all those things.  I’m talking about the male game.  The playing field for women is better than any other sports.  I think that’s why you see two of the greatest athletes that ever played, Venus and Serena.  At worst, they have to be the top two to four.  They’ve done a pretty good job, have had amazing careers.  Then you see some of the younger players.  I can see at my academy, generally you see girls that look to tennis maybe before guys do.  We have to do a better job promoting it.  That’s about half the answer or a third.

EVERT:  I think the expense is one big thing.  I actually have come into contact with a lot of people, a lot of women, when they hear I was a tennis player, they’re like, I wanted to play tennis but it was too expensive for my family.  As a mother of three kids, when my kids were younger, they wanted to do the team sports.  It was more social, more engaging.  They went out and were on a team.  I think a lot of kids are cut out for team sports.  There aren’t a lot of kids cut out for the pressures of an individual sport at such a young age.  Obviously you have to train at a young age if you’re going to be a tennis player.  The fact that tennis probably isn’t even in the top 10 in America as far as popular sports, most watched sports on TV.

John brought up a great point.  Our best athletes are definitely not going into tennis.  They’re going into a lot of different sports.  It’s funny, the Serena, Venus influence as far as the African American influence is starting finally to show up in the women’s game.  Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Taylor Townsend, Victoria Duval, that has started in the last couple years.  So it also depends on who is number one in your sport.  Our number one player in the women’s sport the last 10 years has been either Venus or Serena.  So I think that is a big thing.

I think you’re going to see tennis grow in America.

Q. Could you assess the women’s side at Wimbledon, particularly Maria Sharapova 10 years after her victory.  Can she do it again this year? 

EVERT:  I think it’s going to be an interesting tournament for Serena.  I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure on her because she did not do well in the last two Grand Slams, pretty much had bad losses.  I think all eyes are going to be on how she’s doing.  If she can get through the first week, that’s going to be the big thing.  Once she gets through the first week, gets the ball rolling, gets more comfortable on the grass, she’ll be unbeatable.

She has one thing no other woman player has, she has the serve.  She’s walking on the court 2-Love or 3-Love already.  If the serve is going, the grass is custom made for her.  It frees her up to go for the returns.  She’s athletic, she moves well, she stays down low on the grass.  She’s the best grass court player in my mind right now.

As far as Maria, if she can do a double, the French and Wimbledon, that would be the greatest year she’ll ever have in her life.  That would be an incredible feat for her.  Number one, is she going to have a letdown after winning the French?  Number two, remember all the slipping and sliding, the problems she had last year.  Footing is a big problem with her.  She’s so tall, she can’t get down low for the ball, she doesn’t have that secure footing.  The movement on the grass is going to be key for her, as well as her first serve.  It can go all over the place or she can serve aces.  Sharapova, there’s a question mark.  But as far as confidence level, you’ve got to give that to her.  But I’m still favoring Serena a little bit.  With Halep, Kvitova, Bouchard, ones who can do some damage also.

McENROE:  I pretty much agree with what Chrissie said.  She’s absolutely right.  Serena’s game is very much made for the grass.  Maria I never would have thought would have become arguably a better clay court player than any other surface.  I really respect the effort she’s put forth to become that good and be able to win the French twice, a second time before any other major.

I think what Chrissie said earlier about the footwork, the movement, in the beginning it’s going to be tougher for Maria to get through the first week.  If she does, she’ll be able to sort of feel more comfortable with her movement.

After that, it obviously becomes much more of a crapshoot.  The bigger hitters, Kvitova won it because she can do damage with one shot.  It becomes harder for players that rely on getting a lot of balls back.  It’s tougher to win a tournament like that.  Or if they have liabilities with their serve…  Certainly if Serena and Maria don’t do well, it’s going to be much more difficult to pick who it would be after that.  Is Azarenka still in?

EVERT:  Yeah, she’s come back.  This is her first week.

McENROE:  She hasn’t played much for a while, so that would be an X factor for her.  She got hurt last year.  She’ll be hesitant early on.  Obviously, when she got hurt, she was 2, 3 in the world.

EVERT:  I’d like to see Serena this time, because they were going to meet in the quarters at the French, I’d like to see them (Serena and Venus) on opposite ends of the draw.  That would make it much more interesting, too.

Q. If you had to pick one to make it through the first week, would you go with Serena or Maria? 

McENROE:  If I had to pick one, I’d pick Serena.

EVERT:  Yeah.

Q. What is it like to defend a home Grand Slam challenge?

McENROE:  First of all, there’s no one that’s been under more pressure to win a major event than Andy Murray.  The fact that he’s done it takes a lot of pressure off him.  That should be understood.  He did something that took 76 or 78 years to do so there’s definitely less pressure.  Having said that, anytime you taste what it feels like to win it once, you obviously want to win it again.  So there’s an element of pressure you put on yourself for starters because you sort of want to see what that feels like at least one more time.  From that standpoint he’s going to be feeling pressure.  Clearly now once people know he can do it, they’re going to think he should do it again.  It’s not like there’s not going to be pressure.  There is going to be pressure.  It’s not going to be as staggering as it was.  You throw in this new coaching thing, that makes it a little bit hard to get your groove quickly.  He only won one match in Queen’s.  He lost early.  So this is sort of an X factor.

Murray is very comfortable on the surface.  I’m assuming that they’re going to seed him No. 4.  I would be surprised if they don’t move him up.  He’s presently 5.  I think Stanislas Wawrinka is 3 or 4.  I think it would make sense.  He deserves it, to me, based on the fact he won it last year, his history on grass, that they should seed him 4 and separate these guys.  He would potentially have to go through three of these guys, which I don’t think makes sense for anyone.  Are the seedings being made tomorrow?

EVERT:  Yes.

McENROE:  I would hope for all concerned that they put Stan, who won the Australian, he’s not as comfortable on grass, he had a decent run at Queen’s, but it would be ludicrous to me if they didn’t put Murray 4.

Once he gets going, he’s going to be obviously one of the toughest guys to beat.  He’s tougher to beat in best-of-five, particular on grass because he has a sense of what to do there.  He has as good a shot as anyone to win it.

Q. Do you see Mauresmo coaching a top 10 player on the ATP, is that a big step for women’s tennis? 

EVERT:  I don’t think it matters for women’s tennis.  I think it says something for women’s coaching.  You’re talking about two different things.  Again, this isn’t going to affect the Tour at all.  It’s a positive sign for women in coaching.  It hasn’t been done very much, very rarely.  Maybe it opens the door to not only men, but the women don’t seem to have women coaches.  Maybe it opens the door to more women.  It’s really interesting because the big question at the French was, Will this inspire more top women to be coaches?  The fact of the matter is, we all have kids.  I don’t think Steffi Graf is going to ask Andre, Can I go on the Tour for 35 weeks and coach a player?  I don’t think that’s going to happen.  When you look at the top players, Steffi, Pam Shriver, Tracy, Mary Joe, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay, everybody’s got kids.  That’s our priority.  You’re not going to have full-time coaches as women as much as full-time coaches with men.

Q. You covered some of the favorites on the women’s side at Wimbledon.  I wanted your thoughts on who the longshots or surprises might be.  Specifically what are the chances you see for Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, and down the line Daniela Hantuchova?

McENROE:  Wozniacki, I would put that’s not going to happen, as well as Hantuchova, even though they’re nice girls, young ladies.  Ivanovic has a remote chance.  She has some wins.  Way better chance than the other two as far as the girls.

As far as the guys, the four top guys are the obviously choices.  These aren’t longshots anymore.  These are the two guys that I think have made the biggest advances, who we’ve been waiting on the longest to potentially do some serious damage at a major event, and they’re starting to show that.  That would be Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov.  Two guys, if they had a little bit of luck, things fell their way, they could make a real run in this tournament.  Those would be the two guys I would pick.

EVERT:  I think on the women’s side, again, after Serena and Maria, there’s a little bit of a gap, a little bit of a question mark.  I think Bouchard has shown a lot of positives in the last six months as far as stepping up, not being afraid to play the top players, not to be afraid to play on a stadium court, dealing with the pressure so well.  Especially after the French, she almost beat Maria Sharapova.  She likes grass.  She likes to step in and take the ball early.  She has power.  I think she’s one to watch.

Kvitova, she started to play well at the French.  She lost weight.  She’s fitter.  I think having had that experience, she really enjoys playing on the grass.  She’s somewhat under the radar right now.  You could look at Sam Stosur, players that have all-around versatile games, that are good athletes.  I think grass favors the athleticism because you have to have good balance and know how to move smoothly on the grass.  I think those players.  And Halep, she’s a question mark.  Will she continue the momentum she had at the French?  Again, she’s a great athlete and can move well.  I think that’s very important on the grass, the court coverage.

Q. Chrissie, to you what does Sam Stosur have to do to have a good Wimbledon?  John, what is your take on Bernie Tomic?

EVERT:  She needs to believe in herself.  She needs to have that belief.  It’s not about her game.  She’s got a beautiful game.  She could do it all.  It’s just about her nerves.  I think what she needs to do is look back, look at the matches that she had leads, top players on the ropes, matches that she got nervous and lost.  You have to recognize your past before you move on to your future.  You got to figure it out.  Then she’s got to figure out, If I’m in this situation again, I’m going to react differently.  You have to talk yourself into reacting differently.  It’s all psychological with her.  She just needs to have more confidence in herself, in her game, just try to control those nerves a little better.

McENROE:  As far as Bernard, I haven’t seen him play since he underwent the surgeries.  I heard it was maybe one or both of the hips.  I’m not sure the extent.  Anytime you have surgery you’re worried, especially when you’re that young.  I’m not exactly sure what surgery he had on his hips.

Q. Was on both hips. 

McENROE:  I’m not sure exactly what they did.  But Bernard is unusual, obviously, in a number of ways.  But the main way, the way that’s interesting, is the way he plays.  He’s one of the few guys that I’ve seen where he makes guys that play him uncomfortable.  That’s what he had going for him.  He sort of takes people out of their games.  He gives you looks that you don’t expect.  He’s like a fastball pitcher that would suddenly go to an off-speed pitch.  Bowlers, cricket, taking everything off the ball, are spinning it.  He was very interesting to watch, I found.  There were always issues.  At times, how deep he was willing to dig, his fitness level.  He’s a big guy.  I saw a stat last year I think where he won a great deal of his service games.  He had one of the best records on the Tour as far as holding service games.  I thought that it was amazing because a lot of times it doesn’t look like he’s going more than 80% on his serve.  Maybe that’s why, he’s unpredictable.  At this stage I see a guy that clearly his best surface has always been grass, so he’s most comfortable.  He might start to find some confidence.  I notice he won a few matches in these tune-up events. I don’t know what his fitness level is like.  When you have to walk into best-of-five, it’s more mental than physical at Wimbledon than say the French.  He’d have a better shot.  I’d have to see him again, both on and off the court, what’s going on with his training, who he’s been coached by, all these other things that I’m not really sure of.  It’s going to be interesting to see if he’s going to be able to bounce back, have something serious happen.  I’m assuming his ranking has dropped down.

Q. Men’s and women’s winner and a dark horse in both? 

EVERT:  Serena, Djokovic.  Can Bouchard be a dark horse?  The men?  Oh, boy.  Go ahead, John, I have to think about the men.

McENROE:  I would pick the same women.  If Bouchard could be a dark horse, I would pick her as a dark horse.  I think she’s come a long way.  I like what I’m seeing.  I still think, especially on grass, that Serena, if she brings out her A game, is the best player without a doubt to win it.

EVERT:  I’ll pick Dimitrov for the guys.

McENROE:  I think as far as the men, this is like a really tough one.  If I had to pick one guy right now, I probably would pick Djokovic, even though I don’t think he’s as comfortable on grass as he is on hard courts.  My longshot pick, can I pick Federer as a longshot (laughter)?  He would be my longshot pick over Raonic or Dimitrov.

Roger is obviously amazing.  I still think he’s going to make a run in the majors.  I didn’t think he could go all the way and win one.  He just had another set of twins, for God’s sake.  Maybe it won’t be that easy.

EVERT:  Listen, he’s like the fourth favorite, though.  He could win Wimbledon.

McENROE:  That’s true.  But Dimitrov is probably the fifth favorite.

EVERT:  But what is his ranking?

McENROE:  He’s probably like 10 in the world now.

Q. He’s 13. 

McENROE:  I thought he was higher.  And Raonic is probably 9 or 10 in the world.  To a lot of people they would be longshots, so we’re sticking with it.  I’ll pick Raonic if you don’t want me to pick Federer.  He’s only won it, what, seven times (laughter).

Q. Chrissie, what are your thoughts on Martina Hingis coming back to play at Wimbledon as a wild card in the doubles tournament? 

EVERT:  John McEnroe can chime in.  He played with her and knows her better than I do.  He played with her in TeamTennis. I haven’t watched her play doubles.  I watched her play in TeamTennis a couple times.  She’s hitting the ball great.  She’s obviously winning a lot of doubles matches, so she’s still crafty, volleys really well, quick at the net.  I would have loved to have seen her play singles personally.  But I guess that’s not going to happen.

John, what do you think?

McENROE:  Certainly in doubles she could win the thing if she had the right partner.  I think she’s been playing with Lisicki.  I think they won at Key Biscayne.

EVERT:  She’s not playing with her at Wimbledon.

McENROE:  Who is she playing with?

EVERT:  Zvonareva.  If she had a great mixed partner, she’d have a great chance in the mixed, too.

McENROE:  Maybe it just shows you sometimes when it’s later than you like, you realize how much you love it and miss it.  I don’t know what she’s proving.  I think she could still play doubles.  She could lose first round, win the tournament.  Maybe she just likes to be around it.

Q.  John, do you see Dimitrov as a future superstar?  Can he break into the top four?  What do you like about him and where does he fit in?

McENROE:  I like a lot about him.  What I didn’t like about him was it didn’t seem he was dedicated enough compared to what the other top guys were doing.  Being around Sharapova I bet has helped him, maybe for obvious reasons, because he’s happier.  But the obvious ones were because she’s so dedicated.  I mean, I call her the Nadal of the women’s tour.  She plays every point like it’s her last point.  That has to have rubbed off on him.  Also Rasheed (Dimitrov’s coach) is known as a fitness guy.  He’s realized over the course of time if he wants to make a mark, he has to be fit.  He was cramping.  I saw him cramping in the second set of the French Open last year or the year before.  You can’t expect to be at the end of majors or winning them, there’s no way you can do that if you can’t last till the end of a best-of-a-five-set match.  I think one of the best matches he ever played was when he played Nadal at the Australian.  He looked like he could go the distance.  Looked like he had a shot at it.  He didn’t pull it off.  But it looks like he can at least go the distance now.  He lost first round in the French.  He hasn’t exactly knocked them dead in the majors.  He’s got a lot to prove.  He has a lot of upside.  Everyone has known that for a long time.  It takes longer to break through.  These guys are incredible.  You’re probably talking about the two greatest players that ever played, Nadal, Federer.  Djokovic is going up the all-time great rankings.  Murray has gotten himself better and better.  It’s extremely difficult to break into that.  He and Raonic are the two guys that I have seen who have done the most recently to make this breakthrough.

EVERT:  If I can say one thing.  The more I watch this game, I more I realize it’s getting to be so much about the team.  It’s getting to be so much about the influences that these players have.  They all have so much ability, natural ability.  When you look at Andy Murray with Lendl, that proves my point.  When I look at Dimitrov, he has Rasheed.  He’s got great credentials.  Like John said, he’s into the fitness part of it.  He’s got Maria as a girlfriend.  Like John says, that professionalism, that discipline has to be rubbing off.  She’s probably telling him things, too, giving him some advice.  I just think at the end of the day it really gives you a big edge if you have a great team around you.  I think he does.  I think that’s really improved his game.  It’s about the attitude and the confidence.

Q. John, I was asking you about your meeting with Pele.  What was that like for you and how did that compare to other great meetings?

McENROE:  Pele…I met a number of times.  He’s one of these guys that makes you feel good about everything.  He just has this smile.  Certainly, I don’t speak Portuguese obviously.  He didn’t speak English where it was easy to have a conversation.  It was just to be around his field was magical the way you could feel the beauty of this man.  The way he played, he was like the Roger Federer on a soccer field.  He was like the most beautiful guy that combined this joie de vivre, and played the way he played.  Brazil, it means so much for them obviously.  To have someone like that represent their country in a sport that they love so much, I mean, he’s like Wayne Gretzky in hockey.  He’s just a wonderful man.  He’s one of those guys that will say something nice about you before he expects you to say something nice about him.

Q. There’s another Brazilian like that, which is Guga. 

McENROE:  That’s so true.  Absolutely true.  This guy got totally gypped.  Every time I see the guy smile, I feel bad because he deserved so much better.

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Transcript of ESPN World Cup Media Conference Call with Taylor Twellman

FIFA-World-Cup-2014_Logo-espnTaylor Twellman, ESPN’s match and studio analyst for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, participated in a media conference call earlier today to discuss the month-long quadrennial tournament. Full details of 2014 FIFA World Cup on ESPN networks HERE.

A transcript of the conference call follows:

Q.         There has been a lot of discussion, we’re getting radio shows and phone calls about the whole notion of stoppage time, because there were five minutes added on, and the team had no idea how much time was really left in the game after Brooks scored.  Can you talk about how a player deals with that uncertainty and the excitement that comes when the guy walks out and holds up the knee on board to show how much extra time is going to be added, and whether the vagueness of it is fair?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  I don’t think there’s any problem with it whatsoever. I will say this:  Eight out of ten times, a player, you know, you’re involved in the game, so you don’t necessarily see when the sign is held up.  You don’t see the number.  You’re playing the game.  I mean, the game can be going on when the fourth official lets you know on that.

So I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, and I think the players deal with it as you go … You had Jozy Altidore’s injury and Clint Dempsey’s injury, and you had Matt Besler go down, and you had a couple challenges for Ghana. So it is what it is.  It’s part of the game, and I don’t think players think about it too much.

Q.  I know you’ve been calling the United States games, but I wonder if you’ve been able to pay any attention, or how much attention have you been able to pay to Costa Rica and their defense, and specifically the play of a guy like Giancarlo González?  Have you taken much note of what they have done as a team and what Giancarlo has been able to do?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN: Yeah, I think when you look at the first round of games, Costa Rica is, if not 1A the surprise of the tournament, 1B; the way they reacted going down early.

Giancarlo is very good.  I think he has been a great addition to the Columbus Crew.  But I think when you talk about Costa Rica and you are guy, that opening game, you have to marvel at how they broke, and they broke in transition very well against Uruguay.  They made Uruguay look extremely slow on the back.

Giancarlo González, the back four in Costa Rica did very well.  But I think what was very impressive to me was how anemic in the back Costa Rica made Uruguay seem, particularly in the second half.  Joel Campbell, obviously special player in the books at Arsenal, and they were very good and a surprise of this tournament, and I think they are going to have something to say about getting out of the group.

Q.  Could you give us a couple of the keys to the U.S. and Portugal match?  What does the United States have to do to be successful in that one?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  A couple things.  One, forget about the Ghana game.  You put so much into three and one-half (3½) years of preparation. You put so much into playing their nemesis in the last two World Cups, and there’s this sense of jubilation, and there’s this sense of yes, we have achieved three points.

But the real goal is to get out of the group and advance as far as you can.  As quickly as you celebrate it, it has to be even quicker that you forget it.  And I think that’s one … Two, the game is in Manaus.  We are going to see a game in a little bit here, Cameroon‑Croatia.  Manaus is very humid — very much like playing in July and August in Houston — and I think it’s going to be very interesting to see what kind of pace, what kind of tempo this game is played at.

The number one thing you cannot do against Portugal is when you lose possession is leave Cristiano Ronaldo open.  We saw in the UEFA playoff qualifier against Sweden, tactically they were very naïve, almost to a point where they looked like they didn’t even prepare. The three in the middle for Portugal, Moutinho, Veloso, Carvalho, Varela, William — it depends on who it is — but particularly Moutinho, will cause problems. Because immediately when that ball turns over, almost to a fault, they are looking for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Now, the question is:  How fit is Ronaldo?  Obviously he’s dealing with knee issues, leaving training almost consistently with an ice pack on his knee.  But if you control the counterattack immediately when that ball turns over, the United States will have a very good opportunity of getting a result.

Q.  Following up on Portugal on the Sunday match‑up, I’m just thinking about watching Spain go down two‑nil, because of the Champions League, a lot of pressure and a lot of intensity, and just wondering if maybe the Iberian players are a little bit worn out too much.

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  I think it’s a good observation.  I think there’s no doubt that the Champions League wore out some big players, whether from Atlético Madrid or Real Madrid.  Yes, it’s a good observation, and yes, I think it’s a huge part of it.

Now, in saying that, I think Spain, that is part of their equation.  The other part is, they have won three major tournaments in a row.  If they were going to make a run at this, you’re still in the conversation of arguably the best generation to ever have played a national team.  It’s just one of those things that it’s happened too soon.

I think what’s interesting, to go on that same topic, I don’t think I’ve ever seen in the first round of games, this amount of cramping, this amount of injuries, this amount of fatigue.  And some of the analysts here disagree with me but I think the humidity is playing a huge factor in this.

I’ve been at two of the stadiums.  It’s humid.  We’ve seen comebacks.  We’ve already seen six comebacks in games already, where in 2010 we only saw three, and we are only through the first round of games.

So weather is playing a factor in this.  So I don’t know if it’s necessarily just Iberia.  I do think it’s a product of the situation.  However, you can’t not say that there’s too many games being played and there wasn’t a long enough break for some of these Champions League and the high‑quality teams.

Q.  Who do you think starts up front Sunday for the United States?  And as you watch the hype and tension build, there’s a very real possibility that Sunday’s game might be the most‑watched soccer game in U.S. history.  What do you make of the growth of attention all of a sudden the last couple days?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  I think the ascension of the sport was inevitable.  Does it help that the United States won their opening game against Ghana?  Of course.  But is Portugal going to be the most‑watched game?  Probably.  But guess what, Germany is going to outdo that, and if they get out of the group, you’re looking at some huge numbers. The sport is growing no matter what.  The access we have to every league in the world:  It’s 2014 – ESPN is doing a wonderful job.  It’s just the sport is growing.  It’s factual and you see statistics that back it up.

Up front for the United States, there’s still time to figure this out.  I think Jürgen Klinsmann will have to address: One, what’s the state of Clint Dempsey – will he wear a mask, won’t he?  I think, what do you get from Aron Jóhannsson, what do you get from Chris Wondolowski? Do you just play one up front and allow Michael Bradley free reign, so you clog up the midfield which makes life difficult for a Ronaldo in transition.

So I’m not sure what Jürgen does, he has a couple decisions to make but I think first and foremost he has to find out what he gets from Clint Dempsey.  Because, again, everyone is talking Jozy out the door, Matt Besler and those injuries.  Clint Dempsey has a broken nose.  I’ve played with those.  It’s a difficult situation.

So Clint and Jürgen need to figure out how much he can give, and in what spot does he need help up front.

Q.  I wanted to get your thoughts on what the experience has been like so far broadcasting from Brazil.  We think about this as the home for soccer and soccer fans nowadays, and compared to other things you’ve broadcast and other experiences you’ve had, I’m curious what it’s like — if there’s any emotion for you in the broadcasters booth and just being around that kind of environment.

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  It’s no different than playing.  I think it’s an interesting question, because it’s no different than playing.  It’s a World Cup.  We are all fans of it. Put it this way:  I slept, I think, four-and-a-half hours over the last two to three days.  My travel from Natal back to Rio with (play-by-play commentator) Ian Darke is the same distance as St. Louis to Milwaukee.  It took me 15-and-a-half hours; delays, strikes … whatever is going on here in Brazil.  And yet there’s partying, and it’s like, yeah, I’m tired; yes, I’m exhausted; yes, I’m starving.  And oh, by the way, there’s another game on.  Let’s go watch the game, let’s go analyze it and let’s put some makeup on and do television.

It’s been a great experience so far.  There’s so much left, and I’m really looking ready to go be a part of the broadcast and just being a part of enhancing the experience for the fans back home.

Q.  When you talk about how it’s no different from being a player, I was just curious if you could expand on that a little bit, how in particular you’re bringing your experience from recently being on the field or how you’re bringing that to people back home and how you’re trying to do that?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  I think it comes from energy, excitement.  Obviously calling the U.S. World Cup games, I’m going to give my professional, unbiased opinion.  However, it’s difficult to remember that I’ve got a microphone in front of me and I’m not a fan.  I’ve played 30 times for my country, so it’s very exciting to call those games.

I think it’s just talking about, you know, we are sitting here with a bunch of great analysts, players from all over the world, that know the game and we all look at the game very differently.  You’ve got someone in Roberto Martinez, and then you have a Michael Ballack and an Alexi Lalas.  So you have so many different angles in just talking about it, and then giving my opinion.

One thing that I’ll do is I’ll do my homework, and then the other thing is, I’m not going to hold back on opinion. And I’ll give an opinion and hopefully spark debate as fans and viewers watch at home.

Q.  I was just thinking about Kyle Beckerman the other night was arguably one of the best players on the field; just was wondering as a former player, how you feel about the MLS guys are doing in Brazil?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  Well, I think you look at it, obviously the U.S. win, big for the United States, and also big for your domestic league, Major League Soccer.  I think it’s a huge part of it.

Tim Cahill, for me, so far, goal of the tournament.  To hit a ball that’s over your shoulder that way with that technique, great finish.  Obviously that’s a feather in the cap of Major League Soccer.  It’s part of the sport growing.

You know, I think, at times, we want the sport to grow so quickly here in the country.  Yet, what are we, 19, 20 years in Major League soccer.  There has to be a little patience.  There has to be some evolution.  You know, 2002, we had two teams fold and now we are growing with soccer stadiums and all that.  There has to be a little patience. I think you’re starting to see some of that growth in the World Cup when you have a player like Tim Cahill, who everybody thought was done when he went to the Red Bulls.  What has he done?  He’s come in and scored two good goals in the World Cup.  It’s all part of the process.

But to go back to my earlier comments, three points against Ghana is great.  Getting out of the group with a huge contingent of your roster being from Major League Soccer is more important.

Q.  How important do you think it is, then, for the other side of Klinsmann’s mandate to help the technical development of the game; that there’s at least significant progress at this group stage?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  I think it’s important because I think it’s positive reinforcement.  I think three points against Ghana has already signified that.

Now, I want to remind everyone, the United States beat Ghana the old‑fashioned way.  There was nothing new about how they won.  They scored an early goal, defended like crazy and then won the game on a set piece. So there’s nothing new about what the United States under Klinsmann did against Ghana.  There’s a time and place for it.  You play the games now to win.  You play the games the best way possible that you can to get out of the group.  Then you assess it afterwards, and then you come together, and you then work on your technical plan to develop players at a younger age, and I think that discussion will be had here.

You know, we will have that discussion at ESPN during this World Cup at some point, but it’s hard to assess that now.  Now Jürgen Klinsmann is only thinking about getting a result against Portugal and then you evaluate at the right time and hopefully make adjustments.

Q.  You clearly laid this out about the growth of the sport and the interest that we are seeing back home in this particular tournament.  It’s leading us to write about soccer in all kind of ways, including sort of the next generation.  Do you see some guys in the pipeline you want to identify?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  Can you explain to me the question?

Q.  I’m just really asking about the next generation of guys coming through and just wondering if there’s some of those folks that you’re seeing that potentially could be playing in the World Cup in Qatar or Russia?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  Well, to be quite honest, Russia or Qatar, it’s so far down the road.  If you would have told me four years ago in 2010 that John Brooks would score the game‑winning goal against Ghana, I would have told you you were nuts. Or DeMarcus Beasley being the starting left back in the World Cup — for the first time, an American plays in four World Cups.

It’s one of those where you never know.  As much as Julian Green is on this roster, there’s no guarantee he’ll be part of the roster four years from now.

So it’s such a long, tedious process.  I’d be naïve if I gave you a couple names now that are on the bubble.  I will say this: that DeAndre Yedlin being on the roster has been the carrot for a lot of those homegrown players, a lot of these academy systems within Major League Soccer, and quite frankly any American club team. You look at it, you get a young kid that comes through and now makes a World Cup roster at a very young age, now there are plenty of kids where that didn’t happen in 2002 when I was growing up watching in ’94 and ’98 and all that.

So there is that carrot at the end.  There is that golden ticket, so to speak, of saying, listen, that could be me in the next four, eight years.  But you know, whether I single a player out here or there, who knows around a month from now, let alone four years.

Q.  If you look at Portugal, what do you think their mental state is right now?  Is it, they are going to come in on Sunday really fired up or do you think they are going to come in nervous and the U.S. can take advantage of that?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  They are not nervous.  They are a wounded animal with arguably the greatest player in the world, 1A, 1B – however you want to look at it if you’re a Messi guy or a Ronaldo guy.  Very dangerous if you’re the United States against Portugal in the first 25 to 30 minutes, because they are wounded, and they have Cristiano Ronaldo.

In saying all of that, you can get inside of a player’s head and you can make life very difficult.  What I saw in World Cup qualifying from Portugal is simply this – Israel, Northern Ireland got results against them … Making life very difficult to get Ronaldo on the break. When Ronaldo gets on the break, then you have any of the players running off of him, they are dangerous and they can kill you.  When they have to try to break you down, and it’s very congested in the midfield and very crowded, they struggle.

Again, Israel, Northern Ireland got results against Portugal.  To say the United States can’t would be extremely stupid.  They can get a result, but you have to be careful.  You want to be very careful of a wounded animal with a player like Ronaldo, which is why I think 25, 30 minutes, they have to be ‑‑ the United States has to be just smart, be very smart defensively, don’t sit in deep.

When you do play in Portugal’s end, push forward, and you know, let those thoughts creep in the back of the Portuguese mind that, wow, there’s potential here.  We might only have one point after two games.

Q.  How will Pepe and Coentrão being out, how will that affect?

TAYLOR TWELLMAN:  It’s huge.  Obviously it’s a huge impact.  Now in saying that, they have quality players to fill in behind.  Pepe, to me, it’s so out of character for him to headbutt a player when the ball is away, right?  It’s kind of comical to me. But I don’t know, I mean, I think it will be very interesting to see.  Jozy Altidore being out is much bigger than Pepe or Coentrão for Portugal if you ask me.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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USA-Ghana: ESPN’s Highest-Rated Men’s Soccer Match Ever and WatchESPN’s Largest Audience

FIFA-World-Cup-2014_Logo-espnUSA-Ghana: ESPN’s Highest-Rated Men’s Soccer Match Ever and WatchESPN’s Largest Audience
  • ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Ratings Up 19 Percent Over 2010 to Date with Increases in Key Demos
  • WatchESPN Shows Significant Audience Increases
  • Second Highest-Rated Telecast on ESPN in 2014
  • Rating Record for World Cup in 16 Metered Markets, including Washington DC, Boston and New York
 
The United States’ thrilling 2-1 victory over Ghana in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Monday, June 16, set numerous audience records for ESPN and WatchESPN.
 
  • ESPN’s telecast averaged a 6.3 US HH rating and 11,093,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed men’s soccer match – including 265 from the FIFA World Cup – on ESPN or ESPN2 on record, according to Nielsen.
  • The match also garnered a 469,000 average minute audience on WatchESPN, which set a product record for an event which had a total of 1,400,000 viewers and 62,400,000 minutes viewed for the contest.
  • USA vs. Ghana is ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed telecast since January 6 when its BCS National Championship coverage averaged a 14.4 US HH rating and 25,572,000 viewers (the third largest audience in cable history).
  • In addition to its record audience for USA vs. Ghana, WatchESPN generated its second best event ever in unique viewers for Monday’s Germany vs. Portugal contest with 1,100,000 viewers.
  • Washington, D.C., led all markets for ESPN’s USA vs. Ghana telecast with an 11.8 rating, followed by New York (10.2), Hartford-New Haven (10.1) and Boston (10.0) at a 10.0 rating or higher. The remaining top 10: Columbus, Ohio (8.9), Baltimore (8.7), Providence (8.4), Orlando (8.3), San Francisco (8.0) and Norfolk (7.8).
  • Boston’s 10.0 is the highest overnight ever in the market (on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC) for the men’s World Cup. An additional 15 markets recorded their highest overnight ever for a World Cup group-round match (on any network), including Washington, New York, Hartford, Baltimore, Providence and Orlando in the Top-10, and Buffalo, Charlotte, Dayton, Greensboro, Greenville, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Nashville, Portland and Richmond.
 
Audience Highlights Tournament to Date
  • ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to average a 2.5 US HH rating and 4,112,000 viewers through the first 14 matches, marking increases of 19 percent (vs. 2.1) and 23 percent (vs. 3,346,000), respectively, over the 2010 World Cup.
  • In addition, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have posted significant increases in the key people and male demographics (18-34, 18-49 and 25-54) where the networks lead all networks in the United States that televises the World Cup action.
  • WatchESPN has averaged 247,000 viewers in the average minute across 14 World Cup matches, which represents a seven percent lift over the ESPN Networks’ English language TV audience for a total of 4,359,000 viewers across TV and WatchESPN.
  • In addition to Monday’s record telecast, 2014 World Cup coverage has delivered ESPN and ESPN2’s four highest-rated and most-viewed Group Play matches not involving a United States team on record.
  • In addition, WatchESPN has posted a 170 percent increase in viewers and 180 percent in minutes through the first 14 games, averaging 736,000 viewers and 31,900,000 minutes viewed per match.
  • Driven by the three World Cup matches on Monday, WatchESPN, posted its best day ever with 2,700,000 devices and 191,000,000 minutes viewed. It marks the third time since the World Cup began on Thursday, June 12, that WatchESPN has set a record for its best day.
  • Washington, D.C., continues to lead all markets for matches on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the first 14 games with a 5.0 average rating. San Francisco is second with a 4.4 followed by New York (4.1), Boston (3.8), Orlando (3.7), Los Angeles (3.7), Miami (3.7), Hartford (3.7), Atlanta (3.6) and (all tied) Seattle, West Palm Beach and San Diego (3.4).
 
Upcoming ESPN World Cup Coverage
ESPN’s FIFA World Cup coverage continues today with three matches: Belgium vs. Algeria (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN), host nation Brazil vs. Mexico (2:30 p.m., ESPN) and Russia vs. South Korea (5:30 p.m., ESPN). ESPN will also televise the next match for the United States (against Portugal) on Sunday, June 22, at 5:30 p.m.
 
ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the tournament includes all 64 matches televised live on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, as well as 54 matches on ESPN Deportes and another 10 on ESPN Deportes+.  ABC’s matches will also available on WATCH ABC. Schedule.
 
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ESPN Presents “Countdown to Brazil” on June 11-12

FIFA-World-Cup-2014_Logo-espn2014 FIFA World Cup Preview Featuring Former World Cup Stars Michael Ballack, Gilberto Silva, Alexi Lalas, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Steve McManaman; MLS Match; and More

ESPN will kick off its month long coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup with 24 hours of “Countdown to Brazil” programming focusing on the quadrennial tournament. The “Countdown to Brazil” (#CountdownToBrazil) will begin Wednesday, June 11, at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN with a two-hour 2014 FIFA World Cup Preview and conclude on Thursday, June 12, at 3 p.m. on ESPN with the 2014 FIFA World Cup Match Day, the live pregame show leading into the tournament-opening match: Brazil vs. Croatia from Arena de Sao Paulo.

A majority of the 24 hours will be on ESPN2 beginning at 5 p.m. with There Is No Tomorrow, an inside look at the five-time World Cup Champion Brazilian National Team. The programming will include re-airs of all episodes in the ESPN Films documentary on the U.S. Men’s National Team – Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil – beginning at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and concluding at 9:30 p.m. with an original, 30-minute epilogue of the series.

At 2 a.m. on ESPN2, the 24-hour soccer programming will continue with ESPN FC: Most Memorable World Cup Moments, and from 3 – 5 a.m. overnight, the network will feature four of the 30 for 30: Soccer Stories documentary series – Mysteries of the Juliet Rimet Trophy, Barbosa, Ceasefire Massacre and the Myth of Garrincha. “Soccer Stories” will be followed at 5 a.m. on ESPN2 by I Scored A Goal, ESPN’s ambitious 2010 FIFA World Cup project that featured interviews with most of the living men who scored a goal in the World Cup title match.

ESPN “Countdown to Brazil” schedule:

Date Time (ET) Programming Network
Wed, Jun 11 3 p.m. 2014 FIFA World Cup Preview ESPN / WatchESPN
  5 p.m. There Is No Tomorrow ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  5:30 p.m. Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  9:30 p.m. Epilogue: Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  10 p.m. Major League Soccer: Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  12 a.m. Re-air — 2014 FIFA World Cup Preview ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  2 a.m. ESPN FC: Most Memorable World Cup Moments ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  3 a.m. 30 for 30: Soccer Stories “Mysteries of The Juliet Rimet Trophy” and “Barbosa” ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  4 a.m. 30 for 30: Soccer Stories“Ceasefire Massacre” and “Myth of Garrincha” ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  5 a.m. I Scored A Goal ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Thu, Jun 12 6 a.m. 2010 FIFA World Cup: United States vs. Algeria ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  8 a.m. E:60: World Cup Special ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  9 a.m. SportsCenter ESPN2 / WatchESPN

2014 FIFA World Cup Preview Special (3 p.m. on ESPN):

On the eve of the opening match, Mike Tirico, Bob Ley and Lynsey Hipgrave will host a two-hour live preview of Brazil 2014 from ESPN’s World Cup host set location at Clube dos Marimbas, a members-only sailing club overlooking the famous Copacabana Beach. The program will feature mostly all of ESPN’s FIFA World Cup analysts: Alexi Lalas and Roberto Martinez.

Steve McManaman, Alexi Lalas, Taylor Twellman, Michael Ballack, Gilberto Silva, Santiago Solari, Roberto Martinez and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Other elements:

  • Reports from ESPN correspondents covering team camps – Jeremy Schaap (U.S.A.), John Sutcliffe (Mexico), and Rubens Pozzi (Brazil);
  • General assignment reporters Julie Foudy and Bob Woodruff will offer features and their perspective on the tournament;
  • Comprehensive previews of all the FIFA World Cup groups and key matchups;
  • A look at Brazil and how the nation is addressing the challenges of hosting the World Cup.

MLS – Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas at 10 p.m.:

As part of the 24-hour soccer programming, ESPN2 will present live coverage of Major League Soccer Western Conference matchup – Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas – live from Providence Park in Portland, Ore., at 10 p.m. The Portland Timbers vs. Dallas FC will be the last match before the league takes a two-week break for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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