BRISTOL, Conn. -- ESPN's World Cup telecasts will have a British accent.
Adrian Healey, Derek Rae and Ian Darke have been hired by ESPN for its U.S. broadcasts at this year's World Cup and will join Martin Tyler to give the network British play-by-play announcers for all 64 games beginning June 11.
Healey, who is English, called matches for ESPN at the 2006 World Cup and 2007 Women's World Cup, and has announced European Champions League, Serie A, La Liga and FA Cup broadcasts for ESPN. He hosts Premier League studio shows for ESPN this season.
Rae, who is Scottish, has worked for ESPN since 1994 announcing the Champions League and international games.
Darke works in England broadcasting Premier League matches on Sky Sports, as does Tyler, who will be ESPN's lead play-by-play man.
Former U.S. captain John Harkes and former Nigerian national team forward Efan Ekoku will be among the television color commentators, but the crew pairings have not been set.
JP Dellacamera, the play-by-play announcer who has been paired with Harkes for U.S. national team telecasts, will shift to ESPN Radio for the World Cup and form the lead team there with analyst Tommy Smyth.
These will be the first live soccer broadcasts by ESPN Radio.
ESPN's World Cup TV schedule includes 10 matches on ABC, 10 on ESPN2 and the remaining 44 on ESPN (in addition to coverage on ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV and nightly replays on ESPN Classic). There will be 40 matches on ESPN Deportes -- with announcers in Portuguese.
Additionally, ESPN2 will go all soccer for a 24-hour countdown before the opener. The pre-World Cup concert will be televised live on ESPN on June 10, with an edited version replayed on ABC the following night. ESPN plans about 250 hours of original programming around the games.
ESPN is sending 165 people to South Africa and will have 50 local hires -- double the staff it used four years ago. The network will be broadcasting soccer 12 hours a day during the first round.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.