ESPN, ABC 'Celebration' For World Cup Opening

World Cup 2010ABC, which will feature the World Cup final on July 11, will also air an Olympic-style opening ceremonies show in prime time. ABC will have a "highlight" version of the "Celebration Concert" June 11, after it airs live on ESPN2 the day before. 

Since the "Concert" airs in real-time on a weekday afternoon from South Africa, it maintains ESPN's commitment to live coverage. It has indicated that if it were to land Olympic rights, it would offer many more events in real-time despite time differences than NBC has traditionally provided.

The three-hour "Celebration Concert" shines a light on many African artists, but Alicia Keys and Shakira will also be on the marquee. Sal Masekela, who co-hosts a daily show on E! and will again work for ESPN doing reporting during the World Cup, will host the ESPN2 coverage.

ESPN and ESPN2 will air the majority of the World Cup games, with some marquee match-ups, such as U.S. vs. England, the third-place game and the final on ABC. ESPN handles sports programming for ABC.

Also in keeping with the increasing trend of announcing all-star and Olympic teams in live broadcasts rather than via press release, ESPN said it would announce the members of the U.S. team live Wednesday afternoon on "SportsCenter."

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