Press Release

Posted by Mac Nwulu on May 3, 2012

ESPN Names Play-by-Play Commentators for UEFA EURO 2012™

PRINT VERSIONFILED IN: Soccer

Critically acclaimed soccer voices Ian Darke and Jorge Ramos will lead the ESPN match commentator teams in English and Spanish languages, respectively, during ESPN’s presentation of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012™, beginning Friday, June 8 through Sunday, July 1, in Poland-Ukraine.

Darke, ESPN’s top English-language soccer voice acclaimed for his work during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will lead a team of three UEFA EURO 2012 English-language match commentators that include ESPN’s Major League Soccer voice Adrian Healey and ESPN UK’s Scottish Premier League commentator Derek Rae.  All three called matches during ESPN’s Emmy Award winning presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Ramos, better known as “el relator de las Americas” – commentator of the Americas – for his work as a popular soccer voice among Spanish-speaking Americans, is part of a team of three ESPN Deportes play-by-play commentators including Fernando Palomo, host of Fuera de Juego, the network’s highest-rated soccer studio program, and versatile ESPN play-by-play commentator Ricardo Ortiz.  ESPN Deportes’ three commentators for UEFA Euro 2012 rank among the best collection of seasoned soccer voices on Spanish-language television in the U.S.

The commentator teams will call a significant number of matches from site:

  • Darke and an analyst (TBA) will call all their matches from site in Poland-Ukraine beginning with the opening match in group stage through the Final,
  • A second English-language commentator team will travel to Poland-Ukraine for matches beginning in the quarterfinal round,
  • Two Spanish-language commentator teams, led by Jorge Ramos and Fernando Palomo, will provide on-site commentary starting in the quarterfinals.

Overall, the three television networks – ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes – will combine to present more than 200 hours of live coverage of the UEFA EURO 2012 including all 31 matches live on English-language networks and 27 on ESPN Deportes, the most comprehensive presentation ever of the quadrennial European championship in the United States.

Short biographies of ESPN’s EURO 2012 play-by-play commentators:

  • Darke:  A top British sportscaster who joined ESPN in September 2010 from London-based Sky Sports where he was a soccer and boxing commentator since 1992, Darke is the lead English-language soccer commentator for ESPN.  He is the primary play-by-play voice on ESPN U.S. network’s for Barclays Premier League, the U.S. National Teams (men’s and women’s), MLS Cup and All-Star games, and the FIFA World Cups (men’s and women’s).  Prior to his full-time role with ESPN, Darke captured the imagination of fans commentating on U.S. team matches during the network’s Emmy Award winning presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.  He followed up the spectacular 2010 World Cup performance by delivering critically acclaimed commentaries on ESPN’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 – earning a Sports Emmy nomination for “live sports special” category.
  • Healey:  After joining ESPN in 2003 as an English-language play-by-play commentator for ESPN International’s telecast of several European leagues, Healey was named the primary English-language voice of Major League Soccer on ESPN in March 2011. His credits include commentating on UEFA Champions League and La Liga matches.  Each year since 2006, Healey has played a key role as a commentator for marquee international soccer events on ESPN networks – FIFA World Cups (2006 and 2010), FIFA Women’s World Cups (2007 and 2011), UEFA European Football Championship 2008, and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
  • Ortiz:  One of the most versatile Spanish-language televised sports commentators in the U.S. and Latin American region, Ortiz joined ESPN Deportes fulltime in 2011 as the Spanish-language play-by-play commentator for soccer, the NBA, tennis, including the Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open), and boxing.  Prior to ESPN, Ortiz handled play-by-play commentary for Fox Deportes and HBO Spanish Boxing.
  • Palomo:  A lead European soccer play-by-play commentator on ESPN Deportes, Palomo commentates on Spain’s La Liga matches while also serving as host of Fuera de Juego, the network’s popular weekday soccer studio program which also is aired on ESPN International’s Latin American networks.  Palomo joined ESPN in 2000 as a SportsCenter anchor in the Latin American region.  From 2004-2006, he served as SportsCenter anchor for ESPN Deportes.
  • Rae:  Best known in the U.S. for his work as the lead English-language play-by-play commentator for UEFA Champions League from 1995 through 2009, Rae is currently ESPN UK’s lead commentator for the Scottish Premier League.  He also commentates on FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, Italian Serie A and German Bundesliga matches.  Rae was one of the play-by-play commentators on ESPN’s Sports Emmy Award winning presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, as well as the critically acclaimed coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship 2008™.
  • Ramos:  In a career that has spanned more than three decades, Ramos has served as Spanish-language play-by-play commentator on radio or television for more than 3,000 matches.  He has covered every FIFA World Cup since Mexico 86 – a total of seven World Cups.  In 2010, he co-hosted the self-titled daily ESPN Deportes Radio soccer talk show Jorge Ramos y su Banda from the famed Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg, South Africa, while also providing news and information studio analysis in Spanish and English on ESPN Deportes, ESPN International Networks, and ESPN’s English-language coverage in the U.S.

ABOUT UEFA EURO 2012

The UEFA European Football Championship is one of the most prestigious and competitive international soccer tournaments in the world.  The first championship was in 1960, hosted by France.  Currently, 13 of the 16 national teams in the championship are ranked among top 20 teams in the FIFA World Rankings.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup champion, Spain, won the last European Championship – UEFA EURO 2008 – hosted by Austria and Switzerland.

SOCCER ON ESPN

ESPN is the home of premier soccer championship events and top league competitions from around the world. It is the English-language home of the Men’s and Women’s FIFA World Cup events in the United States through 2014, including the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup; and the exclusive English- and Spanish-language home of the UEFA European Football Championship™ 2012 and 2016 in the U.S.  ESPN airs the Barclays Premier League and Spain’s La Liga in both English and Spanish across multiple networks and platforms, as well as matches on its digital and television platforms from other top leagues – Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, the Dutch Eredivisie, Portuguese Liga, Mexican Primera Division, Brazil’s Paulista Championship – and national domestic club competitions, including Copa del Rey, Coppa Italia and the French Cup. With top-level national team competitions, Major League Soccer, the nation’s premier soccer league, coverage of the U.S. National Teams, and the NCAA Men’s and Women’s soccer championships also part of its soccer programming, the ESPN portfolio represents arguably the most comprehensive commitment to the sport in the United States.

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