The World Cup kicks off in just over three days.
Host country and five-time champions Brazil will meet Group A counterpart Croatia in Sao Paulo at 4 p.m. The Washington Post was kind enough to break down the viewing schedule of all World Cup matches by Eastern time .
ABC2 News will show a handful of matches in the first round and a few critical matches in the knockout rounds, including the World Cup final. The reminder of the matches will be shown on ESPN and ESPN2.
ESPN has so far done nice job of hyping the tournament.
ESPN also introduced to a larger base of casual soccer fans to the United States’ “I believe” chant ahead of its clash against international powerhouses Germany and Portugal, as well as tournament-rival Ghana.
In a separate spot, ESPN gave a nod to the rest of the world in its “Global Issues” commercial. In summary: Every supporter thinks their team has a chance, except the English, if the game goes to penalties.
Also this year, ESPN inducted USMNT midfield Michael Bradley into the “This is SportsCenter” commercial tradition. The spots traditionally highlight nuances of the game. In Bradley’s case, the 30-second clip focuses on the players holding hands with youth on the march from the locker rooms to the field.
ESPN similarly welcomed USA forwards Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan to SportsCenter in commercials that aired in 2010. Abby Wambach , the record-breaking forward from the women’s team, was featured in a hilarious clip that poked fun at soccer players’ tendency to embellish injuries. And if it wasn’t already apparent, ESPN poked fun at itself in a 2011 "Fish out of water" commercial featuring Hope Solo and Alex Morgan .
Off the pitch, world football tricksters Sean Garnier and Remi Gaillard have played their part in hyping the World Cup on the streets.
Garnier, disguised as an old man, made fools of a team of street soccer players.
And Gaillard paid homage to the 32 teams competing in the Cup with 32 of – no exaggeration – the most ridiculous trick shots ever posted on the Internet.
Not to be outdone, tournament advertiser McDonald’s filmed a 1:50 web spot featuring confident kids showing off their tricks, which include a William Tell style knock, as well as a woman dressed for a night of clubbing, juggling a soccer ball in 5-inch heels.
But it was Nike who garnered the most attention for its World Cup promotion themed “Risked Everything.” Nike produced two lengthy ads dedicated to a dangerous, attractive style of play.
The first – “Winner stays” – included cameos from Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimović and, well, about a dozen other international superstars.
The second video called “The Last Game” features the same players… only animated.
If that wasn’t enough, Shakira has carved a niche out for herself producing her second official World Cup theme.
BONUS: ABC2 profiled the United States' biggest soccer support club in the country, the American Outlaws :