ITV announce 2014 World Cup coverage details - Andros Townsend joins team of pundits
ITV has named its World Cup squad for Brazil and plans for covering the tournament, with a stellar on-screen line-up packed with football’s big names ready for kick-off on June 12.
Joining presenter Adrian Chiles on the plane to Brazil to lend their experience and expertise to ITV’s tournament coverage will be regular pundits Roy Keane and Lee Dixon as well as Sunderland manager and former Uruguay international Gus Poyet, Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, former England international Ian Wright, World Cup winners Patrick Vieira and Fabio Cannavaro, former England manager Glenn Hoddle, Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and Andros Townsend, star of England’s World Cup qualifying run, whose bid to play at the tournament was sadly ended through injury.
ITV is looking forward to bringing viewers a carnival of football with all the action, drama, colour and atmosphere from across Brazil.
Reporter Gabriel Clarke, presenter Matt Smith, commentators Clive Tyldesley and Sam Matterface as well as co-commentators Andy Townsend and Clarke Carlisle will also be on the ground and in the stadia in Brazil throughout the tournament.
ITV will have a studio base in Rio de Janeiro to bring home to viewers the impact of the tournament from one of Brazil's iconic cities, but the team will criss cross the vast expanse of the country to deliver build-up, live coverage and analysis of some games from in and around the stadia in the various tournament locations to give viewers a taste of the rich diversity of the country.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: "Excitement is building as we draw closer to what promises to be a special World Cup, taking place in this most iconic of football countries, defined by its passion for the game. Our pundit team bring a rich variety of perspectives on football to our coverage and they can’t wait for kick-off on June 12 and to bring you the best of the action and the atmosphere throughout the tournament.”
The tournament begins on ITV with coverage of the opening ceremony at the newly-built Arena de Sao Paulo before the action kicks off with favourites Brazil taking on Croatia in the first match.
A number of mouth-watering fixtures from the opening stages will be featured on ITV, with the hosts appearing again in their final group game against Cameroon, as well as two of England’s group games [against Uruguay and Costa Rica], the much-fancied Germany side taking on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, a chance to see Ronaldo’s rival for the mantle of world’s best player, Lionel Messi, as Argentina take on Iran and Nigeria, and two of many experts’ dark horses, Belgium’s matches.
Twenty matches from the group stages will be shown live on ITV and ITV4 and 34 games in total will be broadcast live during Brazil 2014.
But viewers will be able to watch and engage with our World Cup coverage at any time on ITV Player with all our live matches streamed on the ITV player on itv.com and available on demand.
Our responsively designed World Cup site – itv.com/worldcup – will bring Brazil to life particularly for mobile and tablet users. This content will include highlights packages of all 64 matches, in-match video clips, all the latest news, extra analysis from our must-watch pundits, and live statistics.
In addition, Alan Davies will host an ITV World Cup podcast throughout the tournament, available for free on iTunes and ITV.com. Alan’s podcast co-presenters will be Dom and Tom from award-winning Bradford City podcast Bantams Banter.
And, itv.com's World Cup coverage is fully geared up to help fans engage with Brazil 2014 on social media. Fans will be able to share our content with one simple click, rate the best goals and upload their own celebrations.