Host Bob Ley (far left, white shirt) and analyst Alexi Lalas (far right) meet with the production crew on the Bristol set in preparation for ESPN’s FIFA World Cup Draw telecast. (Bill Hofheimer/ESPN)
ESPN’s Jed Drake
Reaction to ESPN’s presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was so positive that some fans consider it the finest work ESPN has produced in its 30-plus year history. Nearly four years later, ESPN is now tasked with the challenge of raising the bar even higher during next summer’s FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
While preparations started literally years ago, Friday’s FIFA World Cup Draw (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2 and WatchESPN) in Costa do Sauípe, Brazil is a significant day as the 32 teams will be placed into groups and the matchups for next summer’s tournament will be announced to the world.
Senior Vice President and Executive Producer Jed Drake spoke with Front Row about the World Cup Draw and his production team’s planning for 2014.
Ya comenzaron las audiciones para la tercera edición de Dream Job: El Reportero de ESPN Deportes. La competencia le da la oportunidad a aficionados del deporte de habla hispana de demostrar sus talentos al frente de las cámaras con el intento de convertirse en un reportero de ESPN Deportes durante la Copa Mundial FIFA 2014 en Brazil.
Esta edición de Dream Job comenzó a principios de este mes con un casting en Los Ángeles en L.A. Live. Echa un vistazo a lo mejor de ese día en el video adjunto y manténganse al tanto de las redes social para la información más actualizada (ver recuadro) y sintonicen #Redes (8 p.m. ET, L-V, ESPN Deportes). Los aficionados también pueden participar enviando sus videos online a ESPNDeportes.com.
Front Row le preguntó a Mauricio Pedroza, el primer ganador de Dream Job de ESPN Deportes en 2006, sobre su percepción de la competencia.
The auditions have begun for the third edition of ESPN Deportes’ Dream Job: El Reportero. The contest gives Spanish-speaking fans the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of the camera in a bid to become a reporter for ESPN Deportes during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
This edition of Dream Job kicked off at the beginning of this month with a casting call in Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE. Check out the best of that day in the video above and watch for updates on related social media (see sidebar) and by watching #Redes (8 p.m. ET, weeknights, ESPN Deportes). Fans also can audition by submitting their videos online via ESPNDeportes.com.
Front Row asked Mauricio Pedroza, the first winner of ESPN Deportes’ Dream Job (2006), for insights.
Today marks 365 days until the start of one of the planet’s most anticipated sporting events: the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
In recognition of the one-year countdown, a team of about 20 employees from ESPN’s Facilities and Operations and Creative Services groups created a visual work of art that represents more than 80 years of the “beautiful game’s” history.
First conceptualized by Jed Drake, senior vice president of production, the World Cup Wall offers a timeline with photos beginning with the 1930 tournament in Uruguay. The images chronicle key moments, top players and the winning nations from each World Cup event.
The wall extends approximately 200 feet along a main walkway leading into the ESPN Café on the company’s Bristol, Conn., campus. continue reading…
Welcome to another edition of the Fan Central Mailbag. Remember, if you have an ESPN-related question, follow us @ESPN_FanCentral and use #FanCentralMB to tweet your questions. You can also e-mail them to FanCentral@ESPN.com.
Before we dive into your latest batch of questions, here’s a quick schedule update. Baseball Tonight (@ESPN_BBTN) debuts this Monday at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. This season’s Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour starts Monday at the World Champion San Francisco Giants’ spring training site in Scottsdale, Ariz. Baseball Tonight will begin at 3 p.m. the rest of next week. Here’s the full spring training tour schedule.
Now, onto your questions . . .
There was a story on SportsCenter about an email [Baltimore] Ravens coach John Harbaugh received from someone named Mike, who is physically challenged. The story talked about how the team was inspired by the email. Is that story available for me to watch again? — Merle
This is a great story that everyone should watch at least once. A quick summary: 21-year-old Ravens fan Matthew Jeffers, who has Skeletal Dysplasia, sent Harbaugh an inspirational email titled A Reason to Win following the eventual Super Bowl Champion Ravens’ third consecutive loss heading into Week 16 of the season.
When will the NCAA men’s basketball Bubble Watch be available? — Justincontinue reading…
With respect to the likes of Landon Donovan and David Beckham, Mexico’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is arguably the most popular soccer player in this part of the world.
Tonight at historic Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Chicharito and the Mexican National Team (El Tri) will kick off the final round of qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil against Jamaica (ESPN2 and WatchESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET).
A week from today, the Mexican striker will join his Premier League club in Spain when Manchester United faces nine-time European champions Real Madrid FC in the first leg of an away-and-home series in the 2012-2013 UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16.
Heading into these two huge matches, ESPN sought to profile the 24-year-old striker, who has taken English football by storm with 46 goals in 106 ManU matches, often as a substitute.
The task of securing ESPN’s multi-language profile of the El Tri star was assigned to coordinating producer Ursula Pfeiffer in ESPN’s cross-platform newsgathering unit.
Despite the daunting nature of the project, Pfeiffer knew she would have the help she needed, thanks to the resources available through ESPN’s English and Spanish-language domestic networks, as well as the network’s content team in Latin America.
“This required great cooperation on all fronts, but that is primarily what we do,” said Pfeiffer. “We are constantly looking for opportunities to serve fans by providing content in many languages for television and online via ESPN FC, the company’s digital soccer hub.”
ESPN has acquired the English-language rights to the Mexican National Team (El Tri) in the United States through the completion of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil via an agreement with Univision, which retains the team’s U.S. Spanish-language rights.
The deal, for the first time in the U.S., gives El Tri fans a consistent English-language home for the team’s matches, while also granting ESPN highlights rights for its popular studio programs such as SportsCenter, ESPN FC Press Pass, First Take, SportsNation and more.
Front Row caught up with Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president for programming and Global X, to discuss the rights agreement with Univision:
Why did ESPN make this deal?
ESPN is committed to reaching the widest possible audience with programming that is relevant to the sports and teams that they follow. As the number of English-speaking U.S. Hispanic households continues to increase, it makes sense for ESPN to carry sports events and cover sports news relevant to that audience.
How does ESPN’s coverage of the Mexican National Team fit into the company’s overall soccer content strategy?continue reading…