talkSPORT and BBC Radio 5 live have announced their coverage plans for the upcoming football World Cup in Russia.
The commercial broadcaster is promising over 800 hours of content and all 64 games live across its stations, while 5 live also has commentary rights to every game.
On talkSPORT, former England defender Stuart Pearce joins Ray Parlour, Eni Aluko, Ally McCoist, Joey Barton, Mick McCarthy, John Hartson and Matt Holland as part of the team of pundits for the tournament, with commentators and presenters in Russia including Hawksbee & Jacobs, Mark Saggers and Adrian Durham.
The station says it will have ‘live pitch-side reports from all the England games’ on talkSPORT and will be producing more coverage live from Russia than any other broadcaster, with regular shows including talkSPORT Drive, Hawksbee and Jacobs and Kick Off with Mark Saggers coming from the country during the tournament. The station’s also promising fan videos and behind the scenes fun from the World Cup on social media.
Stuart Pearce said: “This World Cup will be full of spice and we’ll be pounding the streets to bring our listeners all the news as it happens from the England camp and the streets of Russia. As the fans’ home for this World Cup we’ll be in England’s corner from kick-off to penalty shootout.”
Liam Fisher, National Radio controller at talkSPORT, told RadioToday: “talkSPORT is the World Cup station and the only place for non-stop football coverage day and night. From the first kick to the final whistle we’ll bring you all the drama as it unfolds from this very unique World Cup. Right from Alan Brazil at Breakfast through to the Sports Bar at night, our programming will be wall-to-wall World Cup across our platforms with our own line-up of footballing legends.”
talkSPORT’s also announced Virgin Media as a sponsor for its World Cup coverage. Wireless Group National Sales Director David Wilcox said: “We are delighted to welcome Virgin Media as our first broadcast sponsor of our 2018 FIFA World Cup™ coverage. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Virgin Media to drive sales consideration and audience awareness around its complete sports offering by sponsoring our coverage of the biggest and best footballing event in the world.”
Meanwhile, BBC Radio 5 live has Mark Chapman and Kelly Cates leading its World Cup coverage from Moscow. There’ll also be a daily ‘World Cup Breakfast Show’ during the tournament, presented by Robbie Savage each morning at 8.30am.
Commentary on England matches on 5 live will be led by John Murray with Chris Waddle, while Caroline Barker provides updates from inside the England team camp. The World Cup Final on 15th July will see Ian Dennis team up with John Murray for the commentary, as long-time international commentator Alan Green has decided not to go to Russia. Other ex-footballers on pundit duty include Pat Nevin, Dion Dublin, Chris Sutton and Terry Butcher.
And 5 live Breakfast’s Rachel Burden will follow England’s progress through the tournament, presenting the programme from various locations across Russia, beginning in Moscow.