ESPN Inc.’s unprecedented coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ from South Africa will kick off before the games even begin when ESPN2 broadcasts complete live coverage of the FIFA World Cup™ Kick-Off Celebration Concert from Soweto/Johannesburg on Thursday, June 10 beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
The three-hour concert, considered the biggest entertainment event to date in South Africa, celebrates the arrival of the first-ever FIFA World Cup™ on the African continent and will take place at 30,000-seat Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg. Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Shakira and Juanes will perform live on ESPN2 alongside, and in collaboration with, popular African artists, with a specially-produced highlight presentation of the concert airing in primetime on ABC, Friday, June 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
“ESPN Inc. is committed to bringing fans the most complete and entertaining coverage possible from this historic World Cup in Africa,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions. “This concert will be a celebration of South Africa’s rich cultural history and its connection to the world, one that viewers throughout America will surely want to experience on the eve of the World Cup.”
Sal Masekela, ESPN’s 2010 FIFA World Cup human interest reporter and the co-host of The Daily 10 on E!, will be the on-site host of ESPN2’s presentation of the concert. Sal’s father, legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela, will also perform during the concert, as will the Soweto Gospel Choir, each of whom have made special musical contributions to enhance ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the World Cup.
The concert lineup also features popular African performers including Amadou & Mariam, Angélique Kidjo, BLK JKS, K’Naan, Lira, Mzansi Youth Choir, The Parlotones, Tinariwen, Vieux Farka Touré and Vusi Mahlasela.
The FIFA World Cup™ Kick-Off Celebration Concert is executive-produced by Kevin Wall and his company, Control Room, the leading producer of massive global music events.
“We’re thrilled the concert will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ABC because it brings this once-in-a-lifetime cultural event to audiences across the country,” said Wall. “The combination of international and African star power, along with special appearances by soccer legends past and present, ensures this is a must-see event.”