WHOO-HOO!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!! In 2006 I was listening to funny Mexican announcers to relieve the pain of ESPN’s garbage announcers. Now in 2010 they’ve picked one of the best soccer commentators of all-time! Richard Deitsch of SI says Sky Sports’ Martin Tyler will be spending his summer calling 2010 World Cup games for ESPN!
The voice that will guide American viewers through 2010 FIFA World Cup is a familiar one to international soccer fans. SI.com has learned that Martin Tyler, the venerable British announcer who was voted the FA Premier League Commentator of the Decade, has been hired by ESPN to be the lead play-by-play voice for the network’s English-language coverage of next summer’s tournament in South Africa. The formal announcement is expected this week.
“They made an approach and I was delighted to accept,” Tyler said by phone from his home outside of Surrey, England. “The World Cup is a real challenge for any broadcaster because of the games every day. It’s a test of stamina and skills. You expect the very high standards of the players at the World Cup, and I expect to be judged by the very high standards of the American audience.”
Tyler has worked for the London-based Sky Sports network since its launch in 1991 and has called many of the Premier League’s biggest matches. Since Sky does not own broadcast rights to the World Cup, Tyler has often contacted with other networks including calling the last five World Cups for SBS Australia. He is also the voice (along with longtime Sky Sports partner Andy Gray) for EA Sports’ FIFA video game series.
Tyler said he does not plan to change his style for an American audience. “I think I’ve been acquired for what I am and not what I might become,” Tyler said. “The thing that I’d liken it to is what we have in reverse over here. We wouldn’t put UK-based commentary on the NBA or NFL. The description of an American sport comes from American voices and I think maybe those who have made the decision about me would like to get, if you like, a more global feel to what is a global game. Of course the words are only incidental to the pictures in television. But you can help by pushing the odd phrase in the right direction.”
That last paragraph is very important for me. I like that. Please don’t just change things for an American audience. Tyler is top class and I hope that the rest of the US will recognize this in June.
If you’ve never heard of Martin Tyler before than here is a taste in the below video.
There is some bad in this I guess.
Bad in the sense that he’s being considered to call US Men’s National Team games. JP Dellacamera, even though I’m not the biggest fan of his commentary, has been calling soccer here for 30+ years and when he was the #1 commentator heading into the 2006 WC he got replaced by the horrific Dave O’Brien, who had NEVER CALLED A SOCCER GAME BEFORE 2006!
Now he’s got Tyler to deal with, and he can’t hold a patch on MT’s commentary.
It just seems a little bad that Dellacamera is potentially getting the short end of the stick again regarding calling US Men’s games in the World Cup, let alone not being ESPN’s #1 for a World Cup yet again.
However I’m fine with this #1, and I hope they bring Tyler’s parter-in-crime Andy Gray back to commentate with him!
The World Cup can’t come soon enough!