• FA Cup

FA Cup final in 3D & commercial-free on ESPN

ESPN staff
April 23, 2012
Liverpool and Chelsea will contest the 2012 FA Cup final © Getty Images

ESPN is to bring fans the 2012 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool in 3D and commercial-free as part of a full day of live FA Cup programming from Wembley Stadium that continues to revive the tradition of broadcasting all day around the final of the world's oldest domestic cup competition.

Beginning at 8am on Saturday May 5, ESPN's special FA Cup final coverage will include:

* All Day: A host of dedicated programmes - including Breakfast at Wembley, and a specially commissioned FA Cup documentary, Kings For a Day - Football's Giant Killers, plus special live editions of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption and Talk of The Terrace

* HD: ESPN HD will feature complete high-definition coverage of the entire day of FA Cup programming

* Commercial-Free: ESPN will bring fans the FA Cup final commercial-free, in association with Wonga, from 4.45pm through to the trophy presentation, giving viewers an uninterrupted countdown to the game, the celebrations afterwards, and a break-free half-time with highlights and analysis

* 3D: Live on Sky 3D, Europe's first dedicated 3D TV channel

Ross Hair, managing director, ESPN - Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: "The FA Cup final has a special place in the hearts of football fans everywhere, and at ESPN we are thrilled to be continuing the tradition of broadcasting all day around the FA Cup final from Wembley Stadium. This year's FA Cup has produced some remarkable stories and matches on ESPN. Our coverage of the final will highlight our ongoing commitment to give fans an ever increasing insight into the matches we broadcast and to the stories around them."

ESPN's FA Cup final coverage will kick the day off at 8am with Breakfast at Wembley, setting the scene for the big day with discussion and light-hearted debate. Other highlights include a Pardon The Interruption UK special with Mark Chapman and Steve Bunce, plus a Talk of the Terrace special hosted by Kelly Cates with a live music performance from The Enemy.

In a one-hour special at 9.30am, ESPN will debut a specially commissioned 60-minute documentary, Kings for a Day - Football's Giant Killers which focuses on the unique David vs. Goliath aspect of The FA Cup. Narrated by renowned actor-director Steven Berkoff and using a mixture of behind-the-scenes footage from this year's competition, plus archive material, the film provides a unique insight into the psyche of the underdog. The show features interviews with the likes of FA Cup giant killers Ronnie Radford and Vinnie Jones plus legendary FA Cup commentator John Motson. The show is part of collaboration around this season's FA Cup between ESPN and Budweiser.

From 2pm lead presenter Rebecca Lowe will be joined by ESPN's Kevin Keegan, John Barnes and Craig Burley plus special guests, alongside others for the build-up to the 5.15pm kick-off, as well as half-time and post-match analysis, interviews and discussion. Commentary on ESPN and ESPN HD will come from Jon Champion and Chris Waddle with pre-match analysis using ESPN Arena, from Darrell Currie and Martin Keown. Additionally, The Bench, brought to you by Budweiser, will be the auxiliary set for FA Cup coverage, providing viewers with a behind-the-scenes taste of the anticipation of the big match led by Darrell Currie and guests. Reporters Dave Beckett and Currie will bring fans the stories around the match as the day unfolds.

ESPN is delighted to bring fans the FA Cup final in 3D for the second year in a row. ESPN 3D coverage of this year's FA Cup final will be directed and designed by ESPN, with commentary from Derek Rae and guest, plus ESPN studio and on-screen graphics. The more than 250,000 Sky World subscribers with a Sky+HD box and a 3D TV will also be able to watch the 2012 FA Cup final in 3D. It will also be available in the more than 1,500 Sky 3D pubs nationwide. The 3D sports syndication agreement follows collaboration between ESPN 3D and Sky 3D to deliver coverage of ESPN's Winter X Games and the NBA Finals.

John Cassy, director of Sky 3D, said: "For the second year in a row we are delighted to work with ESPN to bring more than a quarter of a million Sky homes the FA Cup in amazing 3D. Partners like ESPN are really helping us expand the content available to customers and therefore extend our 3D leadership even further. It's a big year of sport on Sky 3D with live football, golf, tennis, rugby and, of course, the Olympics. There's never been a better time to enjoy the thrill of live sport as never before."


8:00 - Breakfast at Wembley (Live)
Presented by ESPN's Darrell Currie alongside guest Jason McAteer. Reports as the preparations get underway at Wembley, plus interviews and more

9:00 - ESPNsoccernet PressPass - FA Cup Final Special
A special FA Cup edition of the football debate show with presenter Dan Thomas and regular pundits Steve Nicol, Frank LeBoeuf and Shaka Hislop

9:30 - Kings for a Day - Football's Giant Killers
A special FA Cup documentary exploring the competition's history and enduring themes

10:30 - FA Cup Final Brunch (Live)
James Richardson and guests with a light-hearted look at the build-up to the big game

12:00 - Pardon the Interruption UK - FA Cup Final Special (Live)
Quick-fire debate and discussion from Mark Chapman and Steve Bunce

12:30 - FA Cup - Talking Tactics
ESPN's Craig Burley, Martin Keown, John Barnes and Steve McManaman discuss the pivotal battles ahead

13:00 - Talk Of The Terrace - FA Cup Final Special (Live)
Kelly Cates and Mark Chapman host from Wembley with special guests and a live music performance from The Enemy

14:30 - FA Cup Final Matchday Live
Rebecca Lowe presents from Wembley with Kevin Keegan, John Barnes, Craig Burley and other special guests. Plus, ESPN Technical Area, which provides 3D animated plays and players and analysis, with Darrell Currie and Martin Keown.

16:45 - FA Cup Final - commercial-free, in association with Wonga
Jon Champion and Chris Waddle commentate on ESPN & ESPN HD; On Sky 3D, Derek Rae and guest commentater

20:00 - Off-Air

Wonga.com is sponsor of ESPN's televised FA Cup coverage. Through the deal Wonga.com sponsors FA Cup programming on ESPN as well as FA Cup programming on ESPN Classic.

This season, ESPN's live HD television coverage of the FA Cup has appeared as part of its lineup of top quality UK and international sport. Its line-up includes the Barclays Premier League, Aviva Premiership Rugby, Clydesdale Bank Premier League, UEFA Europa League, Serie A, Bundesliga the NFL's Monday Night Football, NBA, UFC, AFL, French Top 14 rugby and much more.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.