RTÉ Sport have announced details of its 2010 World Cup coverage, where all 64 games will be covered live, as part of an astounding 200 hours of soccer over 25 days from South Africa.
At a photocall in RTÉ, Argentinean World Cup winner and Tottenham Hotspur legend Ossie Ardlies, as well as former German international Dietmar (Didi) Hamann, were introduced as part of RTÉ's unrivalled team of soccer panellists for the World Cup.
Joining the team this summer for the first time will be Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane and re-joining is favourite Liam Brady.
Ryle Nugent, Deputy Head of Sport, RTÉ Television said: 'RTÉ is committed to bringing the best of international and national sporting events to the Irish public free-to-air.
'Although the national team did not qualify for this summer’s tournament the huge success of the previous World Cup in 2006 and the Euro 2008 Championships with Irish audiences demonstrates the level of interest viewers have in seeing the best soccer action in the world and is a testament to the unique perspective and expert analysis that our panel bring which is unrivalled by any other broadcaster.'
RTÉ Television will broadcast exclusive Irish coverage of the world's biggest event with 56 lives games to be shown on RTÉ Two.
In addition, comprehensive coverage of all the action across the tournament will feature in the nightly World Cup highlights programme each matchday.
Ossie, Didi and Kevin will join regulars John Giles, Eamon Dunphy, Graeme Souness, Ronnie Whelan and Richie Sadlier plus Liam Brady and Denis Irwin for their expert analysis of all the action.
Bill O'Herlihy and Darragh Maloney will anchor proceedings along with Peter Collins and Con Murphy, while George Hamilton, Ray Houghton, Gabriel Egan, Trevor Steven, Stephen Alkin, Damian Richardson, Adrian Eames and Matt Holland will provide commentary from South Africa along with the legendary Jimmy Magee.
RTÉ.ie/sport will have a dedicated World Cup site with all the latest news, views and opinion from the biggest event in soccer.
Throughout the tournament, there will be a focus on live interactive text commentaries, where users on the web and on mobile will get up to minute match commentary, tournament updates, expert opinion and the chance to air the views and comments.
All 64 games will be broadcast live on the website to users within the Republic of Ireland, including live web-only coverage of the simultaneous final round of group games.
Users all around Europe will also be able to access RTÉ's live coverage via prominent links to the EBU website. And in case you miss anything, you can catch up with coverage on the RTÉ Player.
RTÉ.ie will also carry the views of RTÉ top analysts, including John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady, plus the observations of the Apres Match team.
And with our in depth team profiles, a section on South Africa, your views, picture galleries and comprehensive fixtures, results and live-scoring sections, RTÉ.ie's specially dedicated website is the place to go for the best in World Cup coverage.
Fans can also keep right up-todate on all events at the World Cup on RTÉ Aertel (www.rte.ie/aertel) and RTÉ Mobile (m.rte.ie)
RTÉ Radio will keep listeners up to date with all the developments at soccer’s biggest tournament. From early morning until late at night, RTÉ Radio will broadcast regularly scheduled bulletins. Programmes will carry scores, previews, reviews and interviews from South Africa and Ireland.
RTÉ Radio Sport will provide reaction from South Africa and panellists at home, including Ossie Ardiles, Graeme Souness and Liam Brady, will share their views.
Throughout the tournament, RTÉ Radio 1's Sport At Seven will be joined in studio by some of RTÉ's pundits to look back over the daytime games and preview the evening matches.
Over the course of the month the programme will be remembering key Irish World Cup moments and talking to people for whom the World Cup provided career-defining moments.
On Wednesday 2 June, The Tubridy Show will host RTÉ Radio 1’s World Cup Draw where a number of daily programmes will be paired with participating countries; the programmes and the presenters will then champion these in the tournament.
The Tubridy Show, Today with Pat Kenny, The Ronan Collins Show, Liveline, Mooney and Drivetime with Mary Wilson are eagerly awaiting their selection, which will determine who they pin their hopes on in the coming weeks.
From the 7–11 June, Kathryn Thomas will be presenting The Tubridy Show. On Bank Holiday Monday, 7 June, Kathryn will be getting into the World Cup mood with a special programme looking back at previous World Cups - Italia 90, USA 94 and Japan/South Korea 02. Together with a panel, Kathryn will relive the goals, the memories, the voices and the songs.
RTÉ 2fm’s Ballbusters will be covering the World Cup with their usual irreverence. Intrepid, puntastic reporter, Ian Abrahams, will join Andrew O’Connor and Jacqui Hurley live from South Africa to bring listeners all the latest news and gossip. Impressionist Darren Farley will deliver exclusive access and insight from deep inside the ‘Engerland’ camp.