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ESPN to use video conferencing in World Cup 2010 coverage

One of the world’s biggest sports channels is to use video conferencing to increase its coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Last week, spokesmen from the Entertainment Sports Programming Network (ESPN) announced that they will be setting up video conferencing facilities in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth for next month’s World Cup.

Players, coaches and team officials will be interviewed via specially installed Cisco Telepresence systems throughout the event. The high quality video of the video conferencing system has been lauded as a revolutionary change in remote interviewing practise for major sporting events, as well a providing an inexpensive solution for ESPN to overcome the difficulties of covering both locations in South Africa.

ESPN reportedly had been concerned over the expense of covering all of the venues in the upcoming World Cup, as though the majority of them are located in a loose cluster around Johannesburg in the Northeast, two venues are in Port Elizabeth and Capetown on the southern and southwest coast. Without video conferencing, coverage would have been limited by a reliance upon the expensive satellite trucks used to cover live games around the world.

ESPN’s vice president for innovation, Rob Hunter, said: “Having Cisco Telepresence in the arsenal of content contribution tools ESPN is using in South Africa allows us to give fans unique content that brings the World Cup one step closer to home.”

“Cisco Telepresence will connect fans and our audience to the action in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth in ways that weren’t previously possible.”