NEW YORK – ESPN plans to announce Thursday it has hired Jon Champion for its World Cup coverage, the fifth British play-by-play commentator among the six for its telecasts from Brazil.
Champion broadcast the Premier League's Saturday tea-time matches for ESPN UK from 2009-13 and is heard regularly on world feed coverage used by NBC's networks this season.
Ian Darke, Adrian Healy and Derek Rae return from ESPN's coverage four years ago, when four broadcast crews were used in South Africa. They will be joined by Daniel Mann, who called ESPN's 3-D World Cup broadcasts in 2010. The non-British play-by-play man is Fernando Palomo, who was born in El Salvador and is ESPN's lead announcer for Mexican national team matches.
Champion tells The Associated Press "my reputation in the UK is for speaking rather less than the majority of my colleagues."