ESPN to use Cisco TelePresence on air for World Cup coverage

ESPN will use Cisco's TelePresence technology to deliver live and recorded coverage of soccer matches and connect the global soccer community with teams, players and coaches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament in South Africa.

TelePresence uses HD video and audio to create a face-to-face virtual experience. Cisco said the technology enables a more timely delivery of video content, including greater fan access to game analysis and player footage. It will also give ESPN increased flexibility and expanded coverage, enhancing both the content and coverage of the games. The technology offers high-resolution video, spatial audio and real-time communication. The immersive experience has imperceptible latency, regardless of distance, Cisco said.

ESPN will be able to host remote interviews with visiting country leaders, coaches, players and fans, all from highly secure and quiet locations with convenient access to key stadium sites. The remote broadcast interviews captured via TelePresence will then be accessible for soccer fans to view on ESPN's worldwide soccer sites.

By using TelePresence from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, ESPN said it will achieve significant cost savings compared to traditional remote interviews. Even though these two locations are hundreds of miles from the International Broadcast Center in Johannesburg, TelePresence technology negates the need for ESPN to send news trucks to the host cities, creating an "always available" virtual studio.