2014 WNBA Season Tips Off May 17 on ESPN2

WNBA-Coin-Logo20-Game Schedule Includes Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 on ESPN

The WNBA regular-season schedule on ESPN networks opens Saturday, May 17, on ESPN2 from Madison Square Garden as the New York Liberty hosts the Chicago Sky. The ESPN/ESPN2 20-game WNBA schedule includes six doubleheaders, with five airing on Tuesday evenings in July. All games can also be seen via WatchESPN.

The opening ESPN2 game marks the return of the Liberty to the Garden after a three-year absence due to building renovations.

The Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game 2014 on Saturday, July 19, will showcase the league’s top players on ESPN, at 3:30 p.m. from US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne will make seven appearances on ESPN2. The Los Angeles Sparks and 2013 WNBA MVP Candace Parker, as well as the Minnesota Lynx and 2013 WNBA Finals MVP Maya Moore, will be featured on six separate occasions. The Phoenix Mercury and two-time WNBA Champion (2009, 2007) Diana Taurasi are on the ESPN2 schedule five times.

Commentators

Ryan Ruocco returns to ESPN’s WNBA coverage as a play-by-play voice. He can also be heard on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco” weekdays from 1-3 p.m. Ruocco will be paired with analyst and former WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, as well as reporter Holly Rowe. Veteran play-by-play commentator Pam Ward teams with analyst Carolyn Peck. LaChina Robinson will also work as a reporter on select games.

ESPN Content Highlights

ESPN will boost its production commitment to the WNBA through the teams, players and coaches.

  • Continued access includes:

o    Live microphones worn in-game by coaches and players.

o    Special mini-camera worn by referees during select games.

o    Look-ins at practices and shoot around, as well as in the locker rooms pregame and during half time.

  • The song “Classic” by MKTO used as the theme song throughout the regular season.
  • “Need to See” – a specialty brand focusing on top players in the league and their impact throughout the season, similar to last year’s focus of “3 to See”.

espnW

  • espnW’s 2014 season preview will include expert picks, conference predictions and player and team analysis of what the season holds. Included will be features on Chicago Sky’s Elena Delle Donne and Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird, as well as slideshows on the top MVP candidates and league contenders.
  • Weekly columns and online chats from writers Mechelle Voepel and Michelle Smith.
  • Total Access with the Los Angeles Sparks. After two seasons of tremendous change, have the Sparks finally found the right formula to win the franchise’s first championship since 2002? espnW will go behind-the-scenes to examine all the key players and how they might impact Los Angeles’ quest for another title. Features will include stories, blogs, and video and photo galleries
  • Blogs from WNBA players: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota), Bird (Seattle), Tina Charles (New York), Delle Donne (Chicago), Kayla McBride (San Antonio), Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles), Odyssey Simms (Tulsa) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix).

ESPN Digital Platforms

  • WatchESPN – available to 67.5 million households nationwide via an affiliated video provider – will carry every WNBA regular-season game this season.
  • Live scores, alerts and video clips accessible via the ESPN mobile Web and SportsCenter app

WNBA Postseason Coverage

ESPN2 will showcase the majority of the 2014 WNBA postseason.

  • Playoff coverage begins Thursday, Aug. 21, with an ESPN2 doubleheader.
  • The WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile runs September 7-17 with a best-of-five series.

The WNBA and ESPN have been affiliated for 18 years, dating back to the league’s inaugural season in 1997, and extended the relationship in March 2013 for six years through the 2022 season.

2014 WNBA ESPN/ESPN Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Games / Commentators Network
Sat, May 17 8 p.m. Chicago Sky at New York Liberty

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe

ESPN2
Mon, May 26 3:30 p.m. Minnesota Lynx at Chicago Sky

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe

ESPN2
Tue, June 3 7 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Atlanta Dream

Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck & LaChina Robinson

ESPN2
Sun, June 15 1 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Sun, June 22 1 p.m. Tulsa Shock at Chicago Sky

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 1 8 p.m. Indiana Fever at Atlanta Dream

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Chicago Sky at Los Angeles Sparks

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
Sun, July 6 2 p.m. Minnesota Lynx at New York Liberty

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
  4 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Los Angeles Sparks

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 8 7 p.m. Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
  9 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
Sun, July 13 3 p.m. Seattle Storm at Minnesota Lynx

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 15 8 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Indiana Fever

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Washington Mystics at Phoenix Mercury

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Sat, July 19 3:30 p.m. Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star 2014 (Phoenix)

Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe

ESPN
Tue, July 22 8 p.m. Indiana Fever at Chicago Sky

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Phoenix Mercury at Seattle Storm

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
Tue, July 29 8 p.m. Chicago Sky at San Antonio Silver Stars

Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck

ESPN2
  10 p.m. Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2
Thu, Aug 7 8 p.m. Chicago Sky at Minnesota Lynx

Ryan Ruocco & Rebecca Lobo

ESPN2

-30-

E:60 World Cup Special Premieres May 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

e60logo-espn

With less than a month until the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, ESPN’s primetime newsmagazine devotes an entire show to some of the biggest names and best stories in the beautiful game. Features will include a rare interview with Argentina’s superstar Lionel Messi, a profile of perhaps the greatest player of all-time Pelé as he travels across two continents, and the very personal backstory of US Men’s team captain Clint Dempsey. In addition, there will be an investigative pieceby Jeremy Schaap looking into preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Observers estimate that under current conditions, by 2022 over 4,000 workers will die in the effort to build Qatar’s World Cup infrastructure.

Clint Dempsey

When the 2014 World Cup gets underway in Brazil next month, the U.S. men face a difficult group draw and demanding travel schedule.  Their underdog hopes rest largely on the feet and head of 31-year-old captain Clint Dempsey.  But long odds are nothing new to Dempsey, who grew up in a trailer park in east Texas and was motivated at a young age by a family tragedy.  His career has carried him from the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer to Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and back to the MLS with the Seattle Sounders.  Along the way the right-footed midfielder scored 377 goals in 107 appearances and also played for the U.S. in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.  E:60’s Jeremy Schaap tells the inspirational and determined story of Dempsey, who could become the first American to score in three straight World Cups.

Lionel Messi

Arguably the biggest sports star in the world is a soft-spoken 26-year-old Argentine soccer player who stands just over five and half feet tall.  Since Lionel Messi’s career began in 2005 with FC Barcelona his accomplishments have elevated him among the all-time greats. Between 2009 and 2012 he won a record four consecutive Ballon d’Or awards, which goes to the top player in the world.  In 2012 he set a record with 91 goals, breaking a 40-year-old mark.  Messi has won six La Liga championships with Barcelona as well as three Champions League titles.   Yet with all his accomplishments, one has escaped him — a World Cup title.  In both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup, Messi was part of a disappointed Argentine squad that exited in the quarterfinals.  Now, Messi’s reputation is on the line as the 2014 World Cup is about to start in Brazil.  E:60’s Jeremy Schaap was granted a rare interview with Messi to discuss a tournament that will go a long ways toward determining his place in history

Qatar

When FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to the oil-rich Arab emirate of Qatar, the decision provoked huge controversy. Not only do temperatures soar to 120 degrees in the summer, Qatar has few existing stadiums or infrastructure to host the world’s biggest sporting event.  In its bid, the tiny nation on the Persian Gulf pledged to spend an estimated 220 billion dollars to build air-conditioned new stadiums, a rail and metro system, and other infrastructure.  But it is the human costs of the first World Cup in the Middle East that is the focus of an E:60 investigation. An estimated 4,000 immigrant workers “will die before a ball is kicked off in 2022”, according to a watchdog for workers’ rights.

The richest country in the world per capita, Qatar recruits workers from some of the poorest countries in the world – Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangledesh, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.  The 1.4 million migrant workers make up 94 percent of the work force in a country with a population of two million.  E:60 traveled to Qatar to investigate the working and living conditions…and to Nepal, where coffins from Qatar arrive almost daily.

Pelé

As Brazil hosts the World Cup this summer, its most familiar and popular ambassador will be Edson Arantes do Nascimento — better known as Pele — the greatest player ever.  Brazil, with Pele, won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970. It’s been nearly four decades since his career, in which he scored 1283 goals in 1367 games, came to an end, yet he remains a global icon.  Now 73, Pele is feted on every continent he visits.  In an E:60 exclusive, Pele talks with Wayne Drehs about the hopes and concerns of his native Brazil as it tries to balance political controversy with futbol in this summer’s World Cup.

-30-

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon Sign New Multi-Year Extensions with ESPN

espn-logoWill remain co-hosts of PTI and continue other roles

Pardon the Interruption co-hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, two of the most thoughtful and influential voices in sports media, have signed new multi-year extensions to remain with ESPN. The popular duo will continue to host PTI together and contribute to other ESPN platforms.

Kornheiser and Wilbon have co-hosted PTI since its debut on October 17, 2001. Their contentious but good-natured verbal sparring was born from the kinds of conversations they had for years in The Washington Post newsroom as sports columnists and colleagues. The program has grown its ratings and viewership the past decade with its unique, fast-paced, wide-ranging and humorous discussion of the day’s sports news.

PTI has also earned its share of critical acclaim – including the 2009 Sports Emmy Award for Daily Outstanding Studio Show – for the show’s innovative graphic rundown, its quirky segments (i.e., Mail Time, Role Play, Odds Makers), and for identifying on-air miscues in the daily Errors and Omissions.

In addition to PTI, a Kornheiser-Wilbon segment appears daily in the opening minutes of the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter. Daily podcasts of the 30-minute PTI also rank among the most popular offerings on both the ESPN PodCenter platform and the Apple iTunes store.

Added John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, production and programming: “Tony and Mike have made PTI the most successful show of its kind in sports television. We are excited they will continue to entertain and inform our fans for many years to come.”

Kornheiser, who helped launch ESPN’s Monday Night Football as a booth commentator from 2006-08, will continue on PTI and contribute to SportsCenter. The Tony Kornheiser Show will also continue to be available via ESPN Audio platforms. The popular weekday program on ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C. (10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET) has been a local and national favorite since 1992.

“It is beyond comprehension that Mike and I, who started out as sportswriters and had no idea the direction our careers would take, would be on TV for this long and continue to love the show we do. It is very gratifying that people like our work, and I can only imagine how many more times I’ll get myself in trouble before the contract runs out,” said Kornheiser.

Wilbon, the pioneering sports journalist who expanded his ESPN role in 2011, will continue to be seen and heard across a variety of platforms, particularly on ESPN’s NBA coverage with key interviews and features and as a contributor to on-site coverage of the NBA Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Wilbon will also write regular columns for ESPN.com and ESPNChicago.com, and he will appear on other shows and platforms, including SportsCenter and ESPN Radio.

Wilbon added: “I’m beyond thrilled people still love watching PTI, and that ESPN still wants to have us. Doing PTI is as much fun for me now as it was 12 years ago, and contributing to the network’s NBA coverage allows me to do one of the things that has brought me great professional pleasure. I’m a sports junkie, period; I love it all…but professional basketball and the culture of it is something I’ve observed closely and with great passion for 30 years and I can’t imagine professional life without it.”

-30-

ESPN Marks One Month from 2014 FIFA World Cup with Full Slate of Programming

FIFA-World-Cup-2014_Logo-espnPremiere of U.S. Soccer Series and E:60 World Cup Special Highlight Schedule

ESPN’s countdown to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil continues Monday, May 12 – the one-month mark from the tournament’s June 12 kickoff in Sao Paulo – with weeklong programming highlighted by the Tuesday, May 13, premiere of Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Braziland a one-hour E:60 World Cup special.

Inside, a six-episode documentary series from ESPN Films, will focus on the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team as it prepares for the upcoming competition. The series, produced by Jonathan Hock and Roger Bennett, will provide a never-before-seen perspective from inside the training camp of the USMNT. Additional information.

Also Tuesday, at 8 p.m. on ESPN, E:60, ESPN’s primetime newsmagazine will devote a full show to the World Cup with:

In addition, two ESPN Deportes series will have new episodes.  Destino Fútbol, a 16-episode documentary series chronicling major story lines in the world of soccer, will continue with “La Escuela de los Sueños.” The episode will air Tuesday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m., with a focus on Santos FC, a soccer club in Phoenix that gives young victims of violence, immigrants and those without a clear path, an opportunity to dream beyond their reality.  The SportsCenter Primera Plana series will air Saturday, May 17, with an edition on Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque (6 p.m.) and a second on Honduras manager Luis F. Suárez (6:30 p.m.). Primera Plana highlights the stories, challenges and anticipation of some of the teams participating in the World Cup through the eyes of their head coaches.

Additional highlights:

  • Live friendly matches:

o    Germany vs. Poland, on Tuesday, May 13 (2:45 p.m., ESPN3)

o    Netherlands vs. Ecuador, on Saturday, May 17 (2:30 p.m., ESPN Deportes/ESPN3)

  • Beginning Monday, May 12, at 7 a.m., ESPN Classic will re-air 21 World Cup, World Cup Qualifying and friendly matches including the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final (Brazil vs. France), the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final (Italy vs. France) and the USA’s thrilling victory against Algeria in the 2010 FIFA World Cup group stage.
  • ESPN Classic will also re-air episodes of the 30 for 30: Soccer Stories.

Note: Schedule for ESPN Classic includes first airings only.  Additional airings are scheduled, including the week of May 26.

Date Time (ET) Program Network(s)
Mon, May 12 11 a.m. World Cup Qualifier (10/16/12)
Spain vs. France
ESPN Classic
  1 p.m. 1998 FIFA World Cup Final
Brazil vs. France
ESPN Classic
  3 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (03/22/13)
USA vs. Costa Rica
ESPN Classic
  5 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (03/26/13)
Mexico vs. USA
ESPN Classic
  7 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (06/11/13)
USA vs. Panama
ESPN Classic
  9 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (09/10/13)
USA vs. Mexico
ESPN Classic
  11 p.m. World Cup Qualifying Playoff (11/13/13)
Mexico vs. New Zealand
ESPN Classic
Tue, May 13 1 a.m. World Cup Qualifier (11/19/2013)
Sweden vs. Portugal
ESPN Classic
  3 a.m. World Cup Qualifying Playoff (11/20/13)
New Zealand vs. Mexico
ESPN Classic
  5 a.m. 30 for 30: Maradona ’86 & The Opposition ESPN Classic
  7 a.m. International Friendly (11/14/12)
Netherlands vs. Germany
ESPN Classic
  9 a.m. International Friendly (03/05/14)
Spain vs. Italy
ESPN Classic
  11 a.m. International Friendly (11/14/12)
Russia vs. USA
ESPN Classic
  1 p.m. International Friendly (03/05/14)
Ukraine vs. USA
ESPN Classic
  2:45 p.m. International Friendly (LIVE)
Germany vs. Poland
ESPN3
  3 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (09/11/12) **
USA vs. Jamaica
ESPN Classic
  5 p.m. World Cup Qualifier (10/12/12) **
Russia vs. Portugal
ESPN Classic
  7 p.m. Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil Episode 1 ESPN
  7:30 p.m. Destino Fútbol: La Escuela de los Sueños ESPN Deportes
  8 p.m. E:60 World Cup Special ESPN
  9 p.m. 2002 World Cup, Round of 16
USA vs. Mexico
ESPN Classic
Wed, May 14 5 a.m. 30 for 30: The Myth of Garrincha & Ceasefire Massacre ESPN Classic
Thu, May 15 5 a.m. 30 for 30: Mysteries of the Rimet Trophy & Barbosa: The Man Who Made Brazil Cry ESPN Classic
  7 a.m. 2010 FIFA World Cup, Group C
USA vs. Algeria
ESPN Classic
Fri, May 16 3 a.m. World Cup Qualifier (03/26/13)
France vs. Spain
ESPN Classic
  5 a.m. 30 for 30: Maradona ’86 & The Opposition ESPN Classic
  7:30 a.m. International Friendly (04/02/14)
USA vs. Mexico
ESPN Classic
  9:30 a.m. 1998 FIFA World Cup, Round of 16
Argentina vs. England
ESPN Classic
  4 p.m. 2006 FIFA World Cup Final
Italy vs. France
ESPN Classic
  9 p.m. 30 for 30: Hillsborough ESPN Classic
  11 p.m. 30 for 30: Maradona ’86 & The Opposition ESPN Classic
Sat, May 17 Noon Nine for IX: The ‘99ers ESPN Classic
  1 p.m. 30 for 30: The Two Escobars ESPN Classic
  2:30 p.m. International Friendly (LIVE)
Netherlands vs. Ecuador
ESPN Deportes / ESPN3
  4:30 p.m. Capitales de Fútbol: Brasil – Sao Paulo ESPN Deportes
  6 p.m. SportsCenter Primera Plana: Vicente del Bosque ESPN Deportes
  6:30 p.m. SportsCenter Primera Plana: Luis F. Suárez ESPN Deportes
  7 p.m. Capitales de Fútbol: Brasil – Rio de Janeiro ESPN Deportes
  7:30 p.m. Capitales de Fútbol: Brasil – San Salvador ESPN Deportes

** Second airing

– 30 –

Veteran NFL Reporter Jim Trotter Joins ESPN

Sunday NFL Countdown logoMulti-Platform Role includes Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Insiders, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine
 
Veteran NFL reporter Jim Trotter has joined ESPN. His multi-platform role includes television appearances on Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Insiders, SportsCenter and other programs, as well as writing for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.
Trotter’s first ESPN.com story on the NFL Draft posted Monday night. He will make his television debut Monday, May 19, on NFL Insiders (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
On NFL Insiders, Trotter will appear on the show alongside former front office executives and other industry-leading pro football reporters like Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. During the NFL season, Trotter will contribute features and reports for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show. His work on ESPN’s digital and magazine platforms will include both short and long-format pieces.
“Jim is widely respected in NFL circles and will be a tremendous addition to our roster of ESPN experts,” said Seth Markman, senior coordinating producer for ESPN’s NFL studio shows. “His outstanding writing will elevate our coverage, in print as well as on television and other areas.”
Added Trotter: “I am honored and humbled to be working with so many talented and passionate people, and I look forward to the opportunities ahead at ESPN.”
Trotter previously worked at Sports Illustrated for six and half years as a senior writer (2007-14). Some of his most memorable stories included a 2012 piece on the Raiders following the death of longtime patriarch Al Davis; a 2007 story on the death of Sean Taylor; and a critical examination of San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium in 2013. Prior to SI, Trotter spent nearly 18 years at the San Diego Union-Tribune, where he worked his way from preps reporter to lead NFL writer, including nine years covering the Chargers.
 
Trotter, who will continue to reside in San Diego, has appeared on a variety of national and local television and radio programs through the years, even working as an NFL contributor on ESPN’s First Take in the mid 2000’s. He also recently completed his first book, a biography of Junior Seau, tentatively scheduled for release in spring 2015.
Trotter is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, as well as the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) and the San Diego chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). He graduated from Howard University in 1986 with a degree in broadcast journalism.
 
- 30 -

 

ESPN Extends Rights to MLS and U.S. National Teams

espn-logoEight-Year Agreement Includes FIFA World Cup Qualifying Matches; ESPN3 to Carry MLS Out-of-Market Matches

ESPN has reached a comprehensive multimedia agreement with Soccer United Marketing (SUM) for the rights to Major League Soccer and U.S. National Team matches through 2022, announced today by John Skipper, ESPN President and Co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and Don Garber, Major League Soccer Commissioner and CEO of Soccer United Marketing.

The eight-year agreement, beginning in 2015, includes English-language rights for the United States National Teams’ FIFA World Cup qualifying matches (men and women) – up to 10 matches per year. ESPN2 will televise 34 regular-season matches as part of the “MLS Game of the Week” series on Sundays at 5 p.m. ET, six playoff MLS matches each year, and the MLS All Star game and the MLS Cup in alternating seasons. ESPN Deportes will also present 34 MLS regular-season and six playoff matches with Spanish-language commentators. As part of the agreement, Fox Sports will offer additional Major League Soccer and US Soccer National Teams’ content on its networks.

Additionally, ESPN3, the multiscreen sports network in more than 92 million homes, will have exclusive rights to carry Major League Soccer matches outside the home markets of participating teams. The out-of-market matches, a popular offering among MLS fans, is currently available only through the MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick packages. ESPN3’s out-of-market telecasts will exclude matches carried by the league’s other national TV partners – FOX Sports and Univision.

“ESPN remains firmly committed to world-class soccer and this agreement underscores our belief that this is an ascendant sports property,” said Skipper. “We are proud to continue our longstanding relationship with MLS and US Soccer, and the broad media rights we have acquired, including enhanced digital rights, will benefit all our platforms.”

Commissioner Garber said: “We are honored to partner with ESPN, FOX and Univision to form the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of soccer in our country.  The commitment from our television partners in terms of structure, length and magnitude is unprecedented, and these new partnerships are another strong indicator of the League’s continued growth and the overall fan interest in our sport.”

ESPN signed its first MLS agreement in 1994 – two years before the league’s debut in 1996 – and has been the primary national television network for Major League Soccer ever since.

Highlights of the agreement:

MLS:

  • ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 will televise 34 regular-season matches, up from 26
  • ESPN Deportes acquires the rights to carry all 34 ESPN/ESPN2 matches with Spanish-speaking commentators
  • ESPN3 acquires out-of-market rights to more than 200 MLS matches per season
  • ESPN International will have rights to carry all 34 ESPN2 “MLS Game of the Week” series
  • ESPN networks will televise six MLS playoff matches
  • ESPN will televise MLS All Star and MLS Cup in alternating years
  • Extensive media rights for all ESPN media platforms such as SportsCenter, ESPN FC on television and digital platforms, et al, including in-progress highlights
  • ESPN will partner with Soccer United Marketing to create new soccer events for fans

U.S. National Teams:

  • Up to 10 U.S. National Team matches each year featuring the men’s and women’s programs on an ESPN network, including home FIFA World Cup qualifying matches
  • International rights placing U.S. National Team matches on ESPN International networks
  • Extensive media rights for all ESPN media platforms such as SportsCenter, ESPN FC on television and digital platforms, etc.

ESPN and Soccer in the United States:

ESPN is committed to offering comprehensive coverage of the world’s premier soccer events in the United States.  ESPN is the English-language television home – and other languages, except Spanish – in the U.S. for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.  The media company is also the English- and Spanish-language home of the UEFA European Football Championship through 2016, and a collection of FIFA World Cup qualifying matches from UEFA nations – Spain, Germany, France and more.  ESPN’s multimedia platforms also provide extensive coverage of myriad top-tier international leagues and Major League Soccer in the U.S., as well as telecasts of the United States National Team and Mexican National Team matches, including the FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, international friendlies, and more.

Through ESPN FC, the company’s multi-language, multi-country and multi-platform soccer brand, ESPN offers fans a comprehensive coverage of soccer across the world. The brand’s digital hub, ESPNFC.com, is the no. 1 soccer-specific site in the U.S., and has expanded to include ESPN FC on TV, a daily global soccer news and information program.

About Soccer United Marketing

Founded in 2002, Soccer United Marketing (SUM) is the preeminent soccer business company in North America. SUM holds the exclusive rights to the most important soccer properties in the region, including: all commercial rights to Major League Soccer; the United States Soccer Federation; promotional and marketing rights to Mexican National Team games played in the United States, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup™. SUM also manages promotional and marketing rights in the United States for Mexico’s most popular sports team, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas).

SUM ‘s corporate portfolio also includes MLS Digital Properties, the only soccer advertising network of its kind, covering all facets of the sport in the U.S., and which allows advertisers to reach millions of soccer fans via online advertising and sponsorships campaigns. These global properties are represented by SUM’s slogan: One Sport. One Company.™ For more information, please visit www.SUMworld.com.

– 30 –

ESPN’s Highest-Rated NFL Draft Telecast Since 1993

2014NFLDraftESPN’s presentation of the 2014 NFL Draft (May 8-10) – including the first two nights in prime time – was the network’s highest-rated NFL Draft telecast since 1993, based on fast nationals, according to the Nielsen Company. The telecast also saw significant increases in both ratings and viewership over the 2013 event.

The 15-plus hours on ESPN and ESPN2 delivered a 2.7 US rating, a 31 percent gain from 2013 (2.1) and a 35 percent increase from 2012 (2.0). The average viewership of 4,121,000 viewers is a 36 percent gain over 2013 (3,035,000) and a 41 percent increase over 2012 (2,924,000). All key male and adult demos were also up double digits from the previous two years.

This weekend matches ESPN’s one-day telecast of the 1993 NFL Draft (Sunday only), which also averaged a 2.7 rating

The top-10 metered markets for ESPN’s three days of NFL Draft coverage were New Orleans (5.6 rating), Cleveland (5.6), Birmingham, Ala. (5.3), Buffalo (4.8), Greenville, S.C. (4.8), Houston (4.5), Dayton (4.2), Columbus, Ohio (4.1), Austin (4.1) and Cincinnati (4.0).

Rounds 4-7 / Day 3 (Saturday)

ESPN’s 7.5 hours of coverage (12-7:35 p.m. ET) on ESPN delivered a 1.5 US rating, a 36 percent increase over last year’s coverage (1.1 US), while viewership averaged 1,962,000, pacing 22 percent ahead of 2013 (1,610,000).

Rounds 2-3 / Day 2 (Friday)

ESPN’s one hour of coverage (7-7:59 p.m. ET) delivered a 2.2 US rating and 3,155,000 viewers, based on fast nationals, while ESPN2′s remaining 3.5 hours (7:59-11:25 p.m.) delivered a 1.8 US rating and 2,693,000 viewers. Together, the two networks averaged a 1.9 US rating and 2,796,000 viewers, equaling the 2013 rating and a three percent gain in viewership from last year’s second and third rounds on ESPN and ESPN2 (2,727,000 viewers).

Round 1 / Day 1 (Thursday)

ESPN’s first round coverage of the NFL Draft averaged 9,943,000 viewers with a 6.1 US rating based on fast nationals, making it the most-viewed NFL Draft telecast in ESPN’s 35 years of presenting the event. The Thursday telecast ranks as the sixth highest-rated event of 2014. Full release.

Note: ESPN Digital numbers will be available on Monday.

-30-

ESPN to Bring Sunday Night Baseball Back to Pittsburgh

ESPN-MLBMillion Dollar Arm’s Jon Hamm to Serve as Guest Analyst on Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown
ESPN’s 25th season of Major League Baseball continues Sunday, May 11, when the Pittsburgh Pirates and reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen host the St. Louis Cardinals and Yadier Molina in the first-ever edition of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell from PNC Park in Pittsburgh at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Pirates last hosted Sunday Night Baseball on July 28, 1996 – 18 seasons ago – against the Philadelphia Phillies at Three Rivers Stadium. Sunday Night Baseball’s Dan Shulman, analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney will provide commentary for the exclusive national telecast.
Actor, avid baseball fan and star of Disney’s Million Dollar Arm Jon Hamm will serve as guest analyst on Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet alongside host Karl Ravech and analyst and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin live at 7 p.m. from just outside of PNC Park on Federal Street near the Roberto Clemente Bridge.
Based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm follows sports agent JB Bernstein (Hamm) to India where his “Million Dollar Arm” reality show competition helps to discover Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, both of whom ultimately signed with the Pirates organization. Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell and Alan Arkin also star in the film, which opens in theaters Friday, May 16. Ravech, Larkin, ESPN analyst Curt Schilling, SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy and ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark all make cameo appearances in the motion picture.
Sunday Night Baseball is also available on ESPN Radio with Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio. Sunday Night Baseball and Baseball Tonight are available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku via WatchESPN.
The Pirates and McCutchen next appear on Sunday Night Baseball when they visit the Los Angeles Dodgers and Yasiel Puig on Sunday, June 1.
-30-

 

ESPN’s WBC World Heavyweight Championship Fight Coverage: Bermane Stiverne vs. Chris Arreola Live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes on Saturday, May 10

Espn-3logoSPN3 Live Coverage of Weigh-in and Press Conference
ESPN and ESPN Deportes Studio Shows On-Site
Interviews with Arreola and Stiverne on ESPN
Special Hour-long Golpe a Golpe Preceding the Fights

ESPN’s coverage surrounding ESPN and ESPN Deportes’ telecasts of the Saturday, May 10, 12-round World Boxing Council (WBC) World Heavyweight Championship fight between top-rated contenders Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) and Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) will include the Thursday, May 8, press conference and the Friday, May 9 weigh-in, both live on ESPN3. ESPN blow-by-blow commentator Joe Tessitorewill emcee the weigh-in. In addition, ESPN’s live telecast of the fight on Saturday will include interviews featuring Arreola and Stiverne. ESPN Deportes’ Golpe a Golpe will present a special live pre-fight show on Saturday, May 10 and ESPN.com will have the latest news and information leading up to and after the fight.

The fight, which was previously announced in March, will air live from the USC Galen Center at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates. Both shows will be presented by Corona Extra and will also be available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Apple TV, Xbox and Roku via WatchESPN. The card is co-promoted by Don King Productions and Goossen Tutor Promotions.

ESPN will also carry the fight exclusively in Latin America, the Caribbean, Brazil, and Canada (via TSN/RDS). In addition, ESPN will televise the fight in Australia and New Zealand.

Highlights:

Commentators: Tessitore will be ringside with Teddy Atlasdescribing the action for ESPN, while studio host Todd Grisham (@GrishamESPN) will present the latest boxing news and highlights on site. Pablo Viruegaand David Faitelsonwill call the fights ringside for ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates (Fight Night), while Leopoldo González and Claudia Trejos will anchor the on-site studio with analysis from Hall of Fame referee and ESPN boxing analyst Joe Cortez. Bilingual reporter Bernardo Osuna (@osunaespn) will present live interviews and reports for both networks.

ESPN3 Live Coverage of Press Conference and Weigh-in: Coverage of the Thursday, May 8, press conference (2:30 p.m.) and the Friday, May 9, weigh-in (6 p.m.) live on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox and Roku via WatchESPN.

Arreola and Stiverne Interviews on ESPN:
Saturday’s show on ESPN will include Atlas’ recent conversation with Arreola as he prepares for his rematch with Stiverne. View the conversation here. The show will also include an interview with Stiverne as he prepares for the fight. View the interview here.

ESPN Deportes’ Golpe a Golpe: A special pre-fight show (Saturday, May 10, 7 p.m., ESPN Deportes) will be anchored by Jorge Eduardo Sánchez, in Mexico, and will include the latest news and analysis from ESPN’s L.A. commentary team of Trejos, Gonzalez, Osuna, Viruega, Faitelson and Cortez. Golpe a Golpe will also have coverage from Friday’s weigh-in on Saturday, May 10 at 4 p.m.

ESPN.com: Comprehensive coverage including pre- and post-fight stories from ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael. ESPN.com will also include previews and breakdowns from Making the Rounds, ESPN.com’s original boxing show.

Fight Details:

Main Event: Stiverne, a Florida resident of Haitian descent, first met California-based, Mexican-American Arreola last April for the right to challenge then-Heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko for the WBC belt. Stiverne scored a 12-round unanimous decision win earning the right to face Klitschko. After Klitschko vacated his title in December to focus on his political career in Ukraine, Stiverne and Arreola were chosen to fill the vacant title. The two will not only battle for the vacant WBC World Heavyweight title, but also to become the first boxers of Haitian or Mexican descent to hold a Heavyweight title.

Co-Feature: Friday’s eight-round co-feature will pit undefeated Junior Welterweight Amir “Young Master” Imam (13-0, 12 KOs), against Yordenis “The Black Prince” Ugás (15-2, 7 KOs).

Upcoming ESPN Boxing Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location Networks
Sat, May 10 8 p.m. WBC World Heavyweight Championship: Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) vs. Chris Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs)—12 rounds USC Galen Center,
Los Angeles
ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Fri, May 16 9 p.m. Delvin Rodríguez (28-7-3, 16 KOs) vs. Joachim Alcine (35-7-1, 21 KOs)—10 rounds, Jr. Middleweight

 

Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Canada ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

 

Fri, May 23 9 p.m. Boxcino 2014 Finals

Petr Petrov (34-4-2, 15 KOs) vs. Fernando Cárcamo (17-5, 13 KOs)—10 rounds, Lightweights

Brandon Adams (14-0, 9 KOs) vs. Willie Monroe Jr. (17-1, 6 KOs)—10 rounds, Middleweights 

Turning Stone Casino,  Verona, NY ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

*Schedule subject to change

About ESPN Boxing
ESPN is home to ESPN Friday Night Fights and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates (Spanish version), a weekly boxing series which runs between January and August and showcases some of the best bouts in the boxing industry. Friday Night Fights began on October 2, 1998 and Noche de Combates (formerly Viernes de Combates) began on January 10, 2004. ESPN began televising boxing on April 10, 1980 when weekly boxing returned to television for the first time since 1964, with the debut of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN.

– 30 –

Mina Kimes Joins ESPN The Magazine as Columnist, Senior Writer

espn-logoAward-winning journalist Mina Kimes joins ESPN The Magazine as a columnist and senior writer as of May 1. Kimes, who comes to ESPN from Bloomberg News as a features reporter covering investigative and business-related stories, will be working as a columnist, covering a wide variety of sports topics and a senior writer, penning features, both investigative and narrative.

Prior to joining Bloomberg in 2013, Kimes served five years as a writer for Fortune magazine, reporting investigative pieces and profiles on topics as far ranging as arms exports to tainted drugs, after working for the company’s small business publication for two years.

“Mina brings a unique background to our talented roster of writers,” said Chad Millman, editor-in-chief, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. “She has perfected the ability to find stories in places others wouldn’t think to look, and we’re excited to have her on board.”

Her coverage has already earned Kimes industry accolades, most recently as the inaugural recipient of the SABEW’s (Society of American Business Editors and Writers) Larry Birger Young Business Journalist prize, honoring journalists under age 30. In 2013 Kimes’ work, including in-depth executive profiles of Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelmen in “King Cat” and Sears CEO Eddie Lampert in “The Sun Tzu at Sears” won her the Front Page Award for Business Reporting, a National Headliner Award for Magazine coverage, and Henry R. Luce Award for Outstanding Story. Past work, such as “Bad to the Bone,” an investigative piece exposing a company’s illegal testing and misuse of a medical device for profit, merited Kimes a place in the Best Business Writing anthology, while “America’s Hottest Exports: Weapons,” her piece on arms sales, generated wide praise including an honorable mention by the National Press Club’s Sandy Hume Memorial Award for Excellence in Political Journalism as well as the Asian American Journalists Association National Award for Print, an award she has been granted twice (2011,2012). Other notable acclaim includes Min’s People to Watch (2012) and New York Press Club, Nellie Bly Cub Reporter Award (2009).

Kimes graduated from Yale University summa cum laude, where she studied English. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

-30-