ESPN is storming the digital field for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer, with a playbook that includes live-streaming all 64 matches of the soccer tourney to most U.S. pay-TV subs across multiple devices.
During the World Cup, to run from June 12 to July 13, live coverage of every game from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ABC will be available via the WatchESPN and ESPN3 authentication services on computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected-TV devices. The sports cabler also will carry live telecasts in multiple languages and provide alternate camera angles in ESPN3 Surround. In addition, it’s launching a redesigned version of its ESPN FC website for soccer fans and will debut a new free ESPN FC app with news, scores, highlights and commentary.
“All sports fans will come together for the World Cup in Brazil, and there’s no better time — and no greater opportunity — to connect fans globally across ESPN digital media than now,” said John Kosner, executive vice president, ESPN Digital and Print Media.
The WatchESPN and ESPN3 digital-video services are available more than 92 million U.S. households through an affiliated pay-TV or Internet service provider. DirecTV is the biggest operator that does not currently offer access to ESPN’s TV Everywhere suite. All 10 ABC telecasts also will be accessible via WatchABC in select markets through an affiliated provider.
The World Cup matches are accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on iOS and Android smartphone and tablets apps, and streamed on televisions through Xbox (for Xbox Live Gold members), Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
ESPN3 Surround will also present companion-viewing experiences for all 64 telecasts in multiple languages, including Portuguese (also available via ESPN Deportes+) and Korean. The ESPN3 Surround coverage also will deliver two alternate camera feeds for every telecast, from tactical cams that provide a high and wide view of the pitch, and real-time highlight reels that will update as big moments happen during every live match.
In the weeks leading up to the FIFA World Cup, ESPN3 Surround will also deliver tactical-cam and fan-cam feeds for three international friendlies featuring the U.S. Men’s National Team: USA vs. Azerbaijan at 10 p.m. ET on May 27, USA vs. Turkey at 2 p.m. on June 1 and USA vs. Nigeria at 6 p.m. on June 7.
In another digital play leading up to the World Cup, a newly redesigned version of ESPNFC.com will debut later this month, with breaking news, highlights, commentary, discussion and debate, optimized to be a “mobile-first” destination with features for smartphones and tablets.
In addition, the new ESPN FC app, to be available for iOS and Android smartphones, will serve news, info and highlights to soccer fans with the same user experience as the SportsCenter app. The ESPN FC app, available in both English and Spanish, will feature a dedicated 2014 FIFA World Cup section that will be the default launch page beginning later this month. In the U.S., the app will debut in-progress clips for the World Cup, and goal highlights will be marked on a timeline for each match in real time. Worldwide, the app will offer access to ESPN FC studio coverage and commentary video.