ESPN Family Of Networks Offering Extensive FIFA WOrld Cup Qualifying Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and the ESPN family of networks are offering extensive coverage of the annual FIFA World Cup qualifying matches this weekend.  They will feature a total of thirty-nine qualifying matches beginning with a broadcast of the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) taking on the Jamaican National Team Friday October 11th at 6pm ET on ESPN/WatchESPN.  The USMNT qualified for Brazil 2014 after its victory over Mexico in its last qualifying match in September.  The team will look to make its lineup for June more concrete when it faces Jamaica tomorrow night.  Ian Darke, Taylor Twellman, and reporter Jeremy Schaap will have all the action from Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS.

Despite its loss to the USMNT in September, Mexico has a chance to redeem itself in a must-win situation when it faces Panama at 9:15pm ET on ESPNEWS/WatchESPN.  The match will mean even more for Mexico as Mexico will host Panama on its own soil.  Commentator Fernando Paloma and analyst Alejandro Moreno will have the call live from Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.  Reporter John Sutcliffe will have more from the sidelines.

Over on ESPN2, audiences will get whiparound coverage on ESPN FC FIFA World Cup Whiparound from 2:30 – 5pm ET on Tuesday, October 15th.  Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman will serve as hosts of the show, which will broadcast live from the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida.  Healey and Twellman will take audiences through the major on-field highlights and of key games.  They will also a number of live look-ins of on-the-field action at various games.

By the end of the day on Tuesday, October 15th, a total of eleven countries will have earned berths in the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament.  Another of those teams is Germany.  Germany was a semifinalist in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  It will take on Ireland live October 11th at 2:30pm ET on ESPN2.  Also to be featured Friday will be Belgium, Switzerland, and Russia.  All three will have matches featured on the ESPN family of networks.  Uruguay, Colombia, Honduras, and Chile also have a chance to clinch a World Cup berth on Friday.

A full schedule of the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifying matches is listed below.

Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Match Network(s)
Fri, Oct 11 11 a.m. Armenia vs. Bulgaria ESPN3
  11:30 a.m. Lithuania vs. Latvia ESPN3
  12 p.m. Croatia vs. Belgium ESPN Deportes / WatchESPN / ESPN3
  12 p.m. Azerbaijan vs. Northern Ireland ESPN3
  12 p.m. Moldova vs. San Marino ESPN3
  1:30 p.m. Malta vs. Czech Republic ESPN3
  2 p.m. Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Liechtenstein ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Luxembourg vs. Russia ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Netherlands vs. Hungary ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Estonia vs. Turkey ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Albania vs. Switzerland ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Andorra vs. Romania ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Germany vs. Ireland ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  2:45 p.m. Greece vs. Slovakia ESPN3
  2:45 p.m. Slovenia vs. Norway ESPN3
  2:45 p.m. Iceland vs. Cyprus ESPN3
  2:55 p.m. France vs. Australia
(Friendly Match)
ESPN3
  3:45 p.m. Portugal vs. Israel ESPN3
  4 p.m. Spain vs. Belarus ESPN Deportes / WatchESPN / ESPN3
  6 p.m. United States vs. Jamaica ESPN / WatchESPN
  9:15 p.m. Mexico vs. Panama ESPNEWS / WatchESPN
Sun, Oct 13 9 p.m. Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders ESPN / ESPN Deportes / WatchESPN
Tue, Oct 15 1 p.m. Israel vs. Northern Ireland ESPN3
  1 p.m. Portugal vs. Luxembourg ESPN Deportes / WatchESPN / ESPN3
  1 p.m. Azerbaijan vs. Russia ESPN3
  1 p.m. Lithuania vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina ESPN3
  1 p.m. Greece vs. Liechtenstein ESPN3
  1:30 p.m. Cyprus vs. Albania ESPN3
  2 p.m. Switzerland vs. Slovenia ESPN3
  2 p.m. Turkey vs. Netherlands ESPN3
  2 p.m. Hungary vs. Andorra ESPN3
  2 p.m. Romania vs. Estonia ESPN3
  2:10 p.m. Latvia vs. Slovakia ESPN3
  2:15 p.m. Bulgaria vs. Czech Republic ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. ESPN FC FIFA World Cup Whiparound ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  2:30 p.m. Serbia vs. Macedonia ESPN3
  3 p.m. San Marino vs. Ukraine ESPN3
  3 p.m. Montenegro vs. Moldova ESPN3
  3 p.m. Scotland vs. Croatia ESPN3
  3 p.m. Belgium vs. Wales ESPN3
  3 p.m. Spain vs. Georgia ESPN Deportes / WatchESPN / ESPN3
  3 p.m. France vs. Finland ESPN3

 

More information on this weekend’s qualifying and all things soccer is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNFC and http://www.espnfc.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

King, Cowherd, Schaap To Fill In For Olbermann Beginning Next Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The “King” of talk is coming to ESPN.  Larry King will fill in for ESPN’s Keith Olbermann on Olbermann next Tuesday – Thursday, October 1st – 3rd. King will fill in while Olbermann takes a temporary leave of absence to host TBS’ Major League Baseball post season studio show.  Olbermann will be gone from his namesake show from next Monday, September 30th to October 2oth.  He will return October 21st.  King will fill in for Olbermann each night at 11pm ET when the show airs.  He is also scheduled to make an appearance on Olbermann this Friday, September 27th.  King, who hosts his own show, Larry King Now, discussed filling in for Olbermann when asked about his temporary assignment.  “I am a great admirer of Keith Olbermann who I think is the quintessential sports host,” said King.  “Sports have always been my avocation – they’re part of my being.  Having the chance to come back to my hometown of New York and host Keith’s show for several days is a terrific joy for me and a return to my first love.”

ESPN Executive VP of Programming and Acquisitions Norby Williamson was just as pleased that King accepted the offer to fill in for Olbermann.  “Olbermann is designed specifically around Keith’s one-of-a-kind personality so having a guest host like Larry, who can deliver a similar level of editorial expertise and intellectual commentary to entertain sports fans, fits the bill perfectly,” said Williamson.  “Larry is so popular and well-known to television viewers but being able to bring them his unique perspective on sports topics is a new twist and we’re excited to have him.”

Once King’s turn is up on Olbermann ESPN’s own Jeremy Schaap and Colin Cowherd will each have a turn hosting the show with Schaap hosting first from October 8th – 10th.  Cowherd will fill in for Olbermann from October 15th – 17th.  Jamie Horovitz, ESPN VP of Original programming and production was optimistic in discussing having two ESPN veterans filling in for Olbermann in his absence.  “Both Jeremy and Colin have distinctive personalities and points of view that will bring a different perspective to the program while Keith is away,” said Horowitz.  “While we’ll certainly miss Keith in the coming weeks, we’re also looking forward to producing some fun and entertaining shows for sports fans with our guest hosts.”

King’s new web only series, Larry King Now, is much like his previous hit CNN show, Larry King Live.  He continues interviewing some of the most important names in the news and world of entertainment in his show, which can be seen on Hulu and Ora TV.

Colin Cowherd can be heard regularly on ESPN and ESPN radio on his show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd.  It runs daily from 10am ET – 1pm ET.  The former host of SportsNation, Cowherd also now hosts Colin’s New Football every Sunday morning at 9am.  Cowherd shares his personal thoughts on football and life in general.

Jeremy Schaap hosts ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life and serves as correspondent for ESPN’s E:60.  He also contributes to ESPN’s Outside The Lines, NFL Countdown, and College Game Day.  His interviews and commentary are featured each week on ESPN’s flagship show, SportsCenter.

More information on each of these shows and more is available online at http://www.espn.com and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks Win Five Sports Emmys

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN proved once again Tuesday night why it is “The Sports Leader.”  The ESPN family of networks took home five Sports Emmy Awards Tuesday night at the 34th annual Sports Emmy Awards.  The annual awards program is put on by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Among its awards were top honors for journalism, technical and creative excellence and marketing.

ESPN2’s E:60 took home the award for Journalism for its feature, “Beitar Jerusalem.”  The feature focused on the Beitar Jerusalem Soccer team and its infamous fan base.  Audiences saw firsthand the behavior of the team’s overly devoted fans and its sometimes overtly racist tendencies.  ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap and a filming crew went to Israel to film the feature.  The award for this feature was the fifth Sports Emmy in four years for E:60.

ESPN’s Outside The Lines brought home Sports Emmy for its feature, “Breaking The Silence.”  This feature focuses on the story of Monika Korra. Korra, a native of Norway, was a member of SMU’s cross country team.  While a member of the team, she was raped by three men.  But through her personal strength, she went on to help find the men and convict her assailants.  She now speaks publicly about such acts of violence.  “Breaking The Silence” won the Sports Emmy for Short Format Camerawork.  It Outside The Lines host Bob Ley worked with ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi for the feature.  The award is the fifteenth Sports Emmy for the show.

Full features weren’t the only things for which ESPN received awards.  It also brought home a Sports Emmy for its “It’s not crazy, it’s sports” promotional campaign.  The campaign brought home the award for Best Promo-Institutional.  One of the more memorable spots in the campaign told the story of a man named Michael Jordan who lived in Chicago.  The man in question was not the famed basketball legend.  Audiences can check out the promo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxBBN3ZnYeU

ESPN’s recent upstart network, ESPN 3D brought home its own award yesterday.  It defended its 2012 award in the Technical Team Remote category, winning this year for its coverage of the Winter X Games.  ESPN 3D is the only all-sports 3D network on television today.

In the category of New Approaches – Short Form, ESPN’s Sports Science won its third Sports Emmy in as many years.

Yesterday’s wins bring the total number of Sports Emmys for the ESPN family of networks to one hundred and fifty three in its twenty-six years of eligibility. 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.