ESPN Deportes will be on the pitch in South Africa with match coverage from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The Spanish-language service will provide Portuguese-language telecasts of more than 40 live matches from next year's tournament. Marking the first time ESPN will air the World Cup in Portuguese in the States, the telecasts will complement the network's comprehensive Spanish-language news and information coverage of the event from June 11 through July 11, 2010), while sidestepping Univision's Spanish-language rights for the quadrennial tourney. ESPN, Inc. owns the rights for all FIFA events in all languages, except Spanish in the U.S. through 2014.
Broadband service ESPN360.com will also offer coverage of the World Cup matches in Portuguese, in addition to other languages to be announced at a later date. During the group stage, ESPN Deportes will focus on matches featuring Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Mexico and the USA.
"There's a thriving Portuguese-speaking community in the U.S. that lives and breathes soccer" said Lino Garcia, general manager, ESPN Deportes. "With Brazil, undoubtedly one of the most followed soccer teams in the world, and Portugal qualifying last week, we are leveraging our multilanguage rights to better serve the passionate Portuguese-speaking fans. We will also continue to provide our core audience the most in-depth news and information coverage that they have come to expect from ESPN Deportes."
Brazil currently ranks No. 2 in the FIFA world rankings, behind Spain, while Portugal is fifth and will showcase the skills of Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably the world's top player.