ESPN’ s coverage of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi will begin Thursday, March 14, with a live three-hour special ESPNEWS, capturing the inspiration, pageantry, performances and special guests of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi Opening Ceremony. Kevin Negandhi will host ESPN’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony, as well as its nightly studio programming throughout the Games.
Julie Foudy will join Negandhi during the Parade of Athletes during the Opening Ceremony, and will also serve as a reporter for ESPN throughout the World Games. Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts will also join Negandhi and Foudy during the Opening Ceremony and will contribute to the coverage during the World Games, appearing in multiple shows and sharing Special Olympics stories on Good Morning America on March 14 and 15. Jen Lada and Gene Wojciechowski will also be in the UAE providing reporting in the Opening Ceremony and throughout the Games, with Wojciechowski joining ESPN’s World Games coverage for the first time.
Each evening from Friday, March 15, through Thursday, March 21, Negandhi will anchor 2019 Special Olympics World Games from Corinche Beach in Abu Dhabi. Airing on ESPN2, ABC or ESPNEWS the program will bring viewers the stories, competition showcase, interviews and more.
ESPN’s coverage of World Games will also include more live coverage of competition than ever before. Working with host broadcaster Abu Dhabi Media, ESPN3 will feature multiple live feeds each day throughout the Games, delivering more than 175 hours of live coverage across venues and competitions including Track & Field, Swimming, Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Sailing/Kayaking, Equestrian, Powerlifting and more.
Special Olympics athlete and ambassador Daina Shilts will return as contributor to ESPN’s coverage throughout the Games and during the Opening Ceremony. Each night’s program will feature a special “Around The Games with Daina Shilts” segment hosted by Shilts. The daily segment will bring viewers inside the atmosphere of the Games, capturing the unique excitement around Abu Dhabi, highlighting different aspects of the daily goings on around Abu Dhabi and the experiences of the athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators at the Games.
ESPN’s week-long coverage will be rounded out with a two-hour program on ABC Saturday, March 30 at 3 p.m., providing highlights from the Closing Ceremony and from the week of coverage.
Internationally, ESPN’s coverage will reach more than 200 countries around the world through its own branded television networks/digital streaming services, ESPN sub-licensees and multiple syndication partnerships that ESPN has arranged in collaboration with Special Olympics International. ESPN will make this event available in Latin America (in Spanish & Portuguese language), Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Special Olympics World Games coverage will be carried on the ESPN Player streaming service across many countries in EMEA, on the Tencent digital media platforms in China and on Sony-India’s digital platforms in India. In Canada, TSN will also air coverage on its family of television networks and digital platforms in the region.
SportsCenter and ESPN digital and social media platforms will also provide coverage in the buildup and throughout the week of the Games, segments in the SportsCenter AM and 6 p.m. editions throughout the games focused on the stories, developments and activities from Abu Dhabi. ESPN’s industry-leading digital and print media platforms—including ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine and the ESPN App—will deliver coverage of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games with video, news, long-form feature storytelling, exclusive blogs from athletes, coaches and volunteers, photo galleries and more.
ESPN The Magazine will include a Voices column about Special Olympics World Games in their Fame issue, and will also be posting coverage in editions around the world, including the UK, Australia and Africa. Leading into the games, a writer will also follow an athlete from Montana for three days before leaving for Abu Dhabi, and a photographer will meeting him in Abu Dhabi to capture his entire experience.
SCHEDULE: 2019 SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD GAMES ABU DHABI
|Day/Date ||Program ||Time (ET) ||Network |
|Thu, Mar 14 ||2019 Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony ||11 a.m. ||ESPNNEWS |
|Fri, Mar 15 ||LIVE Event Coverage from multiple sports & venues ||2 a.m. – Noon ||ESPN3 |
|Sat, Mar 16 ||2019 Special Olympics World Games ||1:30 a.m. ||ESPNNEWS |
|LIVE Event Coverage from multiple sports & venues ||1 a.m. – Noon ||ESPN3 |
|Sun, Mar 17 ||LIVE Event Coverage from multiple sports & venues ||12 – 10 a.m. ||ESPN3 |
|2019 Special Olympics World Games ||2 p.m. ||ABC |
|Mon, Mar 18 ||LIVE Event Coverage from multiple sports & venues ||12 – 11 a.m. ||ESPN3 |
|2019 Special Olympics World Games ||12 a.m. ||ESPN2 |
|Tue, Mar 19 ||LIVE Event Coverage from multiple sports & venues ||12 – 11 a.m. ||ESPN3 |
|2019 Special Olympics World Games ||1 a.m. ||ESPN2 |
|Wed, Mar 20 ||LIVE Event Coverage from multiple sports & venues ||12 – 10:30 a.m. ||ESPN3 |
|2019 Special Olympics World Games ||1 a.m. ||ESPN2 |
|Thu, Mar 21 ||2019 Special Olympics World Games ||12 a.m. ||ESPN2 |
|Fri, Mar 22 ||2019 Special Olympics World Games ||12 a.m. ||ESPN2 |
|Sat, Mar 30 ||Best of Special Olympics World Games ||3 p.m. ||ABC |