ESPN is to bring fans the 2012 FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool in 3D and commercial-free as part of a full day of live FA Cup programming from Wembley Stadium that continues to revive the tradition of broadcasting all day around the final of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition.
Ross Hair, Managing Director, ESPN – Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “The FA Cup Final has a special place in the hearts of football fans everywhere, and at ESPN we are thrilled to be continuing the tradition of broadcasting all day around the FA Cup Final from Wembley Stadium. This year’s FA Cup has produced some remarkable stories and matches on ESPN. Our coverage of the Final will highlight our ongoing commitment to give fans an ever increasing insight into the matches we broadcast and to the stories around them.”
ESPN’s FA Cup Final coverage will kick the day off at 8am with Breakfast at Wembley, setting the scene for the big day with discussion and light-hearted debate. Other highlights include a Pardon The Interruption UK special with Mark Chapman and Steve Bunce, plus a Talk of the Terrace special hosted by Kelly Cates with a live music performance from The Enemy.
In a one-hour special at 9.30am, ESPN will debut a specially commissioned 60-minute documentary, Kings for a Day – Football’s Giant Killers which focuses on the unique David vs. Goliath aspect of The FA Cup. Narrated by renowned actor-director Steven Berkoff and using a mixture of behind the scenes footage from this year’s competition, plus archive material, the film provides a unique insight into the psyche of the underdog which is so key to the competition. The show features interviews with the likes of FA Cup giantkillers Ronnie Radford and Vinnie Jones plus legendary FA Cup commentator John Motson. The show is part of collaboration around this season’s FA Cup between ESPN and Budweiser.
From 2pm lead presenter Rebecca Lowe will be joined by ESPN’s Kevin Keegan, John Barnes and Craig Burley plus special guests, alongside others for the build-up to the 5.15pm kick off, as well as half time and post-match analysis, interviews and discussion. Commentary on ESPN and ESPN HD will come from Jon Champion and Chris Waddle with pre-match analysis using ESPN’s augmented reality tool, ESPN Arena, from ESPN’s Darrell Currie and Martin Keown. Additionally, The Bench, brought to you by Budweiser, will be the sports media company’s auxiliary set for FA Cup coverage, providing viewers with a behind-the-scenes taste of the anticipation of the big match led by Darrell Currie and guests. Reporters Dave Beckett and Currie will bring fans the stories around the match as the day unfolds.
John Cassy, Director of Sky 3D, said: “For the second in a row we are delighted to work with ESPN to bring more than a quarter of a million Sky homes the FA Cup in amazing 3D. Partners like ESPN are really helping us expand the content available to customers and therefore extend our 3D leadership even further. It’s a big year of sport on Sky 3D with live football, golf, tennis, rugby and, of course, the Olympics. There’s never been a better time to enjoy the thrill of live sport as never before.”
The 3D sports syndication agreement follows collaboration between ESPN 3D and Sky 3D to deliver coverage of ESPN’s Winter X Games and the NBA Finals.
ESPN’s FA Cup Final coverage starts at 8am on Saturday 5th May.