This is just in from my pals at ESPN. I'll likely write something about it, but you saw it here first, folks. It's very hot news for any fan of U2:
ESPN Launches 2010 FIFA World Cup “One Game Changes Everything”
Network’s presentation to include U2 and Soweto Gospel Choir
ESPN’s unprecedented coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup will include U2 and South Africa’s own Soweto Gospel Choir. These Grammy Award-winning groups will be featured in a series of spots which will be woven into the network’s comprehensive coverage of this month-long event.
Commencing June 11, the network’s coverage will use specially recorded music by Soweto Gospel Choir recorded and filmed in South Africa, with music and live concert footage from U2’s record breaking concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., in October 2009. This collaboration will appear in every program throughout ESPN’s presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup including soccer highlights, match and studio coverage.
“ESPN is thrilled to bring U2 and Soweto Gospel Choir together to tell our FIFA World Cup stories,” said Seth Ader, ESPN senior director, sports marketing.
“This inspiring creative project with U2 and Soweto Gospel Choir will provide a distinctive, original voice to our coverage of the first FIFA World Cup to take place on the African continent,” said Jed Drake, ESPN’s executive producer, 2010 FIFA World Cup. “By integrating this content throughout both our production and marketing efforts, we will more fully engage fans and enrich their experience of this great event.”
An initial series of four TV spots, set to the music of U2, will run April through June, and underscore the historic importance of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The first of the four, Robben Island, began airing April 7 across ESPN’s networks.
• Robben Island communicates the historic nature and importance of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, through the prism of soccer. This spot was filmed on location at Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. It is the site where eventual South African President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades, alongside other political prisoners, during the country’s apartheid era. (Set to U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” with Soweto Gospel Choir).
• UNITED conveys the passion for the FIFA World Cup that unites disparate cultures (set to U2’s “Magnificent”).
• The Power of 10 celebrates the honor and burden that comes with wearing the most sacred jersey number in soccer (set to U2’s “Out of Control”).
• Passion captures the excitement that the FIFA World Cup invokes—highlighting the documented “baby boom” that occurred nine months after Germany hosted the 2006 event (set to U2’s “Desire”).
* These additional spots will roll out from now throughout the days leading up to the first kick. To learn more about the campaign visitespnmediazone.com.
ESPN Inc.’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Coverage in the United States
South Africa 2010 will be ESPN’s seventh FIFA World Cup and coverage of the event promises to be the most comprehensive in company history. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will air all 64 matches live and in high definition. ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband network available in 41 million homes, will feature live English-language simulcasts of matches on ESPN and ESPN2. ESPN Mobile TV will show 46 matches. ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language all sports network, will air up to 40 matches in Portuguese live in the U.S., and ESPN Radio will broadcast all 64 matches.
Additionally, ESPN will present 2010 FIFA World Cup television studio programming from site in South Africa, offering U.S. sports fans the most comprehensive news and information coverage throughout the month-long soccer showcase. Studio coverage of the quadrennial global event will includeSportsCenter segments, a nightly World Cup Live program, and prematch, halftime and postmatch shows, with additional studio programming and World Cup-branded segments, totaling more than 65 hours of coverage, originating from two sets in and around Johannesburg.
ESPN Coverage of Past FIFA World Cup Events:
Germany 2006 – All 64 matches live and in high definition
Korea/Japan 2002 – 58 ESPN and ESPN2 matches live (6 tape-delayed broadcasts on ABC)
France 1998 – All 64 matches live on ESPN (27), ESPN2 (23) and ABC Sports (14)
USA 1994 – All 52 matches – ESPN (41) and ABC (11)
Mexico 1986 – 15 matches on ESPN (U.S. cable television rights)
Spain 1982 – 7 matches on ESPN