CNN International has announced several upgrades for its TV, web and mobile platforms for real time and live coverage of the 2014 World Cup. The network’s coverage will include live programming from Brazil, feature programming from around the world, and online initiatives that will bring audiences up to the minute reaction and analysis from all corners of the globe.
Alongside its permanent bureau in São Paolo, CNN International will have a dedicated World Cup live studio set-up in Rio de Janeiro.
CNN World Sport anchors Amanda Davies, Alex Thomas and Lara Baldesarra will bring their expert analysis from Rio and elsewhere, and the network will have teams on hand at key games throughout the tournament. Off the pitch, CNN’s Brazil-based International Correspondent, Shasta Darlington, alongside fellow International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen, will also follow the big stories as they develop.
CNN has also teamed up with Facebook for the CNN Facebook Pulse, a digital dashboard on CNN.com to present the global debate around the World Cup. The dashboard will display the evolving World Cup conversation in real time through Facebook posts, pictures and Instagram photos, allowing fans to track trending topics, players and teams. Users will not only be able to explore trends, but also gauge reactions to developing stories in different parts of the world through unique sentiment data. Fans can join the conversation by updating their Facebook statuses and sharing their own thoughts.
Nick Wrenn, Vice President, Digital, at CNN International, said in a statement: “When it comes to sporting events, there is simply nothing bigger than the World Cup, and that is down to both its worldwide reach and the intense engagement of the fans. We want to give those fans a platform to join together and get as deeply involved as possible in the global buzz around the games, the players and the unique sense of occasion that this tournament brings. The partnership with Facebook is a really exciting way for us to deliver that platform, and will deliver some fascinating insights into what the football community is thinking and discussing.”
Karla Geci, from Facebook Strategic Media Partnerships, added: “Facebook, CNN and the World Cup are all fundamentally global and inherently social. With more than 500 million football fans on Facebook, the tournament will drive massive conversation worldwide, and the CNN Facebook Pulse brings what all of those fans, athletes and teams are talking about to CNN’s global audience. Not only can CNN’s audience check out relevant and timely Facebook posts and Instagram photos, but they can also join the conversation themselves in a highly interactive way.”
Meanwhile, CNN.com is hosting a special World Cup 2014 section, which collates all key content from the tournament, and features additional special material, among which is an exclusive serialization of journalist James Montague’s book Thirty One-Nil, which looks at some of the untold stories that the World Cup throws up in all corners of the world.
On TV, CNN has also created a number of program segments and other initiatives to deliver 360 degree coverage of the tournament. The CNN Fan Zone will run throughout Brazil 2014 on CNN World Sport. The Fan Zone will focus on the excitement and enthusiasm that the tournament generates around the world, following the fans as they cheer their teams on.
Also running in CNN World Sport will be a daily “FIFA World Cup Update” segment. This daily update will bring CNN viewers the day’s key moments on the pitch, run the rule over teams’ progress, and highlight the players making headlines with their performances.
During the build-up to Brazil 2014, CNN is airing a special feature program covering the final preparations for the tournament; “Ready to Play” profiles key players, looks at Brazil’s stadia and infrastructure, and brings viewers the color and passion from fans across the host country.
Building excitement in the final weeks ahead of the tournament will be CNN’s feature show “Human to Hero”. This explores the discipline, dedication and determination of sporting stars, talking to football legends about their World Cup memories and getting their predictions for this year’s finals.
Once the tournament is under way, another special program will feature professional sports photographers discussing how some of the most iconic moments in World Cup history were captured on camera. “Human to Hero: Sport Photography Masterclass” will run in CNN World Sport from the big kick off until the final itself.
Finally, CNN World Sport will also carry a segment entitled “Social Spot Kick”. This will see some of international football’s biggest stars answering quick-fire questions about what it means to represent their countries on the world stage.