ESPN and Martin Tyler, the company’s lead English-language commentator for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, have mutually agreed to end their relationship ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Tyler came to ESPN in October 2009 as a commentator for the World Cup in 2010 and 2014. In South Africa, he commentated on 18 of the 64 matches including the opener, the final and all matches played by England. Tyler and commentators that included Ian Darke, Adrian Healey and Derek Rae, helped elevate ESPN’s presentation of the quadrennial competition.
ESPN earned critical acclaim for its month-long coverage of the first World Cup in Africa and garnered more than 40 industry awards highlighted by three Sports Emmys, a record for any event on the network.
“We truly thank Martin for his immense contribution to the overall success of our 2010 FIFA World Cup presentation,” said Jed Drake, senior vice president and executive producer, ESPN Production. “He played a vital role as part of a brilliant team of commentators, pundits and producers, who made the World Cup experience memorable for U.S. fans.”
Approaching Brazil 2014 (June 12 – July 13), Tyler requested for and has been granted a release from an agreement to commentate the next World Cup for ESPN. Tyler is now free to work with other FIFA media partners during the World Cup.
“Following World Cup 2010, Ian Darke made a long term commitment to ESPN. That commitment deserves to be rewarded by Ian being the lead commentator at World Cup 2014 for ESPN. With that in mind, it was only right and proper for me to offer to stand down from ESPN’s broadcast of the tournament next year. I’m sure that Ian and ESPN will enjoy a very successful tournament,” said Tyler.
Tyler is the lead football voice for the London-based Sky Sports. He has called matches in every FIFA World Cup since his debut in 1978 with ITV in the United Kingdom. Prior to working for ESPN in 2010, Tyler was the lead voice at the previous five World Cup tournaments (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006) for SBS in Australia.