At the start of last year’s NFL season, ESPN moved just about their entire operation to Green Bay for the first Monday nighter of the year. Well the “Leader” is planning to do the same thing for the World Cup next June, but with a small catch. It won’t be one day….it will be for an entire month! Yes, all World Cup programming will be coming to you live from South Africa from June 11th to July 11th. Via ESPN PR….

ESPN will present all of its 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 (June 11 – July 11, 2010). Coverage of the quadrennial global event will include SportsCenter segments, nightly World Cup Live, and pre-, halftime and post-match 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.

A trio of top-tier ESPN hosts, Chris Fowler (college football, Grand Slam tennis), Bob Ley (SportsCenter, Outside the Lines), and Mike Tirico (Super Bowl, NBA Finals, Final Four, major golf championships), will serve as on-site FIFA World Cup studio hosts. ESPN’s “game around the game” approach to South Africa 2010 will include live and taped segments that will air on ESPN International’s 13 localized versions of SportsCenter in eight different languages across the world.

South Africa 2010 will mark the first time in ESPN’s 30-year history that the entirety of its FIFA World Cup studio programming will originate on location from the site of the host country. Highlights of planned programs and 2010 FIFA World Cup-branded segments:

– SportsCenter at the FIFA World Cup;
– World Cup Live – the daily, 30-minute news, highlights and analysis program (30 episodes) aired each night of the tournament on ESPN or ESPN2;
– Live 30-minute pre-match, halftime (15 min.) and post-match shows on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2;
– World Cup segments on ESPNEWS, First Take on ESPN2, and Outside the Lines.

It’s always a good idea to be live at the event you’re covering, but that certainly can’t be cheap, especially when you’re traveling halfway around the World. Also, if you’re looking for three hosts for the coverage, you can’t ever go wrong with Fowler, Tirico and the great Bob Ley. Great move by ESPN, if you ask me.

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