News Release

ESPN to Bring Cisco TelePresence to 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

Interactive Video to Connect Global Soccer Fans With Teams, Players and Coaches
May 20, 2010

SAN JOSE, Calif., and JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 20, 2010 – Cisco today announced that ESPN will use Cisco TelePresenceTM to deliver live and recorded coverage of soccer matches and connect the global soccer community with teams, players and coaches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament in South Africa.  The incorporation of Cisco TelePresence will allow ESPN to deliver televised content more effectively and economically as well as enhance soccer fans' viewing experience. Cisco TelePresence, which uses high-definition video and audio to create a face-to-face virtual experience, will further enhance ESPN's coverage of soccer matches throughout the month long tournament. By using the existing Cisco broadband network in South Africa, the two industry leaders are transforming the sports television industry by enabling a more timely delivery of video content, including greater fan access to unique game analysis and player footage.

ESPN is taking advantage of the Cisco TelePresence HD real-time video for its live coverage of the 19th FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament, a first for any video communications solution. The technology will also give the worldwide leader in sports increased flexibility and expanded coverage, enhancing both the content and coverage of the games. The immersive experience is made possible with imperceptible latency, regardless of distance, ultimately leading to a more compelling interview.  In addition, with the deployment of Cisco TelePresence in South Africa, ESPN will be able to host remote interviews with visiting country leaders, coaches, players and fans, all from highly secure and quiet locations with convenient access to key stadium sites.  The remote broadcast interviews captured via Cisco TelePresence will then be accessible for soccer fans to view on ESPN's worldwide soccer sites. 


Advantage ESPN: Business Benefits

  • By utilizing Cisco TelePresence to conduct exclusive World Cup reports from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, ESPN will achieve significant cost savings as compared to traditional remote interviews.
  • Even though these two locations are hundreds of miles from the International Broadcast Center in Johannesburg, Cisco TelePresence technology negates the need for ESPN to send news trucks to the host cities, creating an "always available" virtual studio. 
  • ESPN will televise exclusive World Cup reports from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth on the network's news and information shows.

Ball in the Fan's Goal: Dynamic Video Experience

  • Most soccer enthusiasts will want to maximize their viewing experience with access to more behind-the-scenes footage. Cisco TelePresence gives ESPN the opportunity to present a larger number of interviews with players, coaches and analysts.
  • All Cisco TelePresence interviews captured during the tournament will be converted to video files for posting and viewing on the ESPN Soccernet site.
  • This Cisco TelePresence technology will be used for remote face-to-face interactions for other upcoming sporting events.

Overtime: What's Next

  • As the TV business model continues to evolve, Cisco is innovating the way that sports and media organizations deliver content, providing a timely delivery of unique video content into the home and allowing fans to engage in richer ways with the sports and teams they love.
  • The Cisco TelePresence ecosystem will continue to expand worldwide, changing the game for how fans experience sports.

Executive Quotes:

  • "Having Cisco Telepresence in the arsenal of content-contribution tools ESPN is using in South Africa allows us to give fans unique content that brings the World Cup one step closer to home," said Rob Hunter, ESPN vice president for innovation. "Cisco TelePresence will connect fans and our audience to the action in Capetown and Port Elizabeth in ways that weren't previously possible."
  • "The 2010 World Cup is one of the largest global sporting events, and we're excited to join forces with ESPN to branch out and do something different, giving fans the ultimate viewing experience," said David Hsieh, vice president of marketing for emerging technologies, Cisco. "Cisco TelePresence technology is changing the way television organizations think about the connection between content creation and fan consumption of sports content."
  • "The World Cup is one of the premier sporting events that unite communities across the globe. It transcends borders, languages and cultures," said Paul Mountford, senior vice president of emerging markets, Cisco. "And as a global company that is focused on connecting communities through the collaborative use of technology, we're excited to work with ESPN in bringing interactive communications services to the residents of South Africa and beyond. Coupled with the new Internet connectivity that SEACOM is bringing to South Africa, the region has a unique opportunity to transform the lives of its citizens and make the tournament one of the most connected events in sports."

ESPN – Cisco Hosts Global World Cup Press Conference Using Cisco TelePresence

Today ESPN and Cisco hosted a live global press conference over Cisco TelePresence, involving soccer enthusiasts/broadcasters and business leaders from both organizations. Global sports, business and technology media were also in attendance from Toronto, New York, London, Warsaw, Kiev, São Paulo and Johannesburg. This event was intended to demonstrate the remote video connectivity benefits associated with Cisco TelePresence and highlight how this technology will play a key role in delivering in-depth sports reports of the World Cup to soccer fans around the world.  For more details on the Cisco TelePresence press conference, please visit the following link:

Supporting Resources:

Technorati Tags:

Cisco, video, sports, TelePresence, ESPN, collaboration, World Cup, FIFA, emerging markets

About ESPN

ESPN, Inc. is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic & ESPN Deportes), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU & ESPNEWS HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio,, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including (Broadband, formerly, ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive.  Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.  The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.