And so it begins. ESPN and Univision kick off the 2014 FIFA World Cup today, with both companies carrying the Brazil/Croatia matchup at 3:30p. ESPN drew headlines yesterday with the signing of Landon Donovan, who played with the past three FIFA World Cup squads, to the network’s coverage of the tournament. Donovan will contribute analysis from ESPN/ABC studios in LA, and debuted yesterday as part of the FIFA World Cup Preview. Donovan will contribute to pre-, halftime and post-match coverage, as well as editions of SportsCenter, World Cup Tonight and other shows. Overall, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will offer more than 290 hours of live original HD programming with all 64 matches carried live in HD on ESPN (43 matches), ESPN2 (11), and ABC (10).
Meanwhile, Univision Deportes’ coverage from Brazil will take center stage across UCI’s broadcast, cable, and digital platforms. On the broadcast side, the Univision will air the most live matches with 56 on deck, all simulcast on Univision Deportes Network. Play-by-play announcers and commentators include Enrique “El Perro” Bermudez, Felix “El Gato” Fernandez, Jesus “El Profe” Bracamontes, and Luis Omar Tapia, among others. Broadcast network UniMas and Spanish-language cable leader Galavision will air eight live games and special programming during the month-long tournament; Galavision will also broadcast the best match of the day in primetime in a 60 minute format.