Television

CNN plans extensive coverage around soccer WC

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MUMBAI: Putting football fans at the heart of its 2010 Fifa World Cup coverage, US news broadcaster CNN has created a global fanzone to unite and inform its sport-enthusiastic audience across CNN International, CNN.com, CNN iReport and CNN en Español.

CNN International executive VP, MD Tony Maddox says, “In the run-up to the World Cup, CNN has showcased the biggest interviews and established a reputation as the go-to place for football fans around the world. We have harnessed our global resources across television, online and social media platforms to genuinely unite the world around this spectacular sporting event.”

View from South Africa: From Soccer City to Fan Park, CNN will have a team of eight correspondents in South Africa reporting live across CNN International and CNN en Español, delivering comprehensive coverage including match results, logistics and key storylines to viewers around the world. These reporters include Pedro Pinto, Alex Thomas, Michael Holmes, Isha Sesay, Robyn Curnow, Nkepile Mabuse, Diego Bustos and David McKenzie.

McKenzie will spend the entire month traveling around South Africa in a Winnebago and taking the pulse of the host country. As part of CNN’s Team Winnebago, McKenzie will help tell the story of the World Cup through the voices of South Africa.From Cape Town to Graaff Reinet and Qunu to Soweto, Team Winnebago will cover more than 3,000 kilometers of highway, dusty tracks and snow-capped mountains during this month-long road trip. Users will be able to track McKenzie’s journey on CNN.com through an interactive map that will showcase Team Winnebago’s progress as well as the special reports they will file from the road. In addition, McKenzie will tweet about the places he has visited and where Team Winnebago will go next.

Aaron Mokoena, the captain of the host nation South Africa, will file exclusive video diaries for CNN and when appropriate, contribute exclusively to the network as a World Cup analyst. Ahead of the tournament Mokoena, who is Bafana Bafana’s most capped player, will be armed with a CNN flip cam so that he can provide viewers and users with an inside view of the Cup. These video diaries from the South Africa captain will be featured on CNN International and CNN.com at www.cnn.com/worldcup.

CNN International’s South Africa 2010 coverage will extend beyond its daily sport show, World Sport, and appear in every programme in its lineup, offering viewers match highlights, fan reaction and top storylines around the clock. On 11 June Isha Sesay will host an hour-long special from Johannesburg’s Fan Park that will feature reports from CNN correspondents in nearly a dozen other countries represented in the World Cup including Mexico, England, Brazil, Spain and Argentina. South Africa 2010 will capture the global impact of the World Cup along with the always-entertaining Opening Day fan frenzy.

For the week of 14 June, BackStory goes on the road to Johannesburg, where Michael Holmes will anchor special World Cup editions of the show live. Holmes and BackStory will of course bring viewers the story behind the story, but this week will have a World Cup twist.

From CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, Errol Barnett will use the new Magic Wall to bring viewers the latest from CNN’s South Africa 2010: Twitter Buzz interactive; World Cup-related iReport submissions; headlines from the world’s newspapers; and Google Earth maps of Soccer City and the other stadiums.

Coverage on CNN.com: Available at www.cnn.com/worldcup, CNN’s online coverage of the World Cup presents users with a world view of the football tournament including the latest football-related headlines; interviews with top players (see Lionel Messi) and coaches (see Fabio Capello); commentary from CNN’s World Sport team; tips for tourists including a guide to all of South Africa’s World Cup venues; and quizzes to test World Cup knowledge.

A unique aspect of CNN.com’s coverage will be the exclusive South Africa 2010: Twitter Buzz interactive, which will launch a few days before kickoff. Users will be able to view the most popular World Cup-related Twitter topics and participate in the global conversation about players, teams and overall trends. These topics will be illustrated as images and the more a topic is discussed, the larger the image will appear in the interactive. For each topic, users will be able to comment, re-tweet or reply all and if the topic is about a player, users will be able to follow the player on Twitter directly from the interactive. The South Africa 2010: Twitter Buzz will provide a unique way to watch and participate in the conversation around the World Cup, and the interactive will be the destination to get the latest buzz on the tournament. Follow CNN’s World Cup team on Twitter here.

In addition, CNNMéxico.com will offer up-to-the-minute updates; headlines; interactive polls; and relevant information about the Cup on its “Deportes” channel (Sports), which will also follow the Mexico team very closely. Other features include: a countdown clock to the Cup; a daily photo blog with the most amazing images of the day; a ticker with live results; a highlight on the “11 moments” of each game; “Fanzone” showcasing the best Super Fan iReports; and “Referee” polls where users can vote on their favorite team to win each match.

Fans engage with iReport: Through CNN iReport, CNN’s user-generated news community, fans are capturing and submitting stories that are being included in CNN’s coverage of this border-transcending event. CNN has identified the most enthusiastic fans as Super Fans, and they will be given the chance to represent their countries and at the same time, connect with football fanatics from places all over the map.

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