ITV Sport is set to bring football fans comprehensive coverage of what promises to be a fantastic Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
The action kicks off on the opening day on June 8, and will include England’s opening game at Euro 2012 against France three days later.
Adrian Chiles lead’s ITV’s coverage and will be joined by an all-star panel of experts to guide viewers through all the drama, with the ITV team based in a specially constructed studio in Warsaw, Poland.
Including England’s opening group match again France in Donetsk on Monday 11 June, and their final match against Ukraine on Tuesday 19 June, ITV will be broadcasting a total of 16 live matches from Euro 2012 across ITV1 and ITV4, with live streaming on ITV.com.
All games not covered live will be featured in highlights programmes, and every live match will also be shown in high-definition on ITV1 HD or ITV4 HD.
A range of highlights packages, interviews and features will be available on ITV’s dedicated Euro 2012 website, which is the first iteration of the broadcaster’s soon to be overhauled online sport offering.
Euro 2012 marks the first competitive test since Roy Hodgson’s appointment as England manager.
It will prove an opportunity to blood new talent and perhaps a final test for a so-called ‘golden generation’ of English footballers who failed to produce at the last two World Cups.
The Republic of Ireland will be involved in their first major international tournament in ten years, and will be led by the Italian-born manager Giovanni Trapattoni, and ITV viewers will be able to see them in action in their first two group games exclusively live.
UK TV coverage of all 31 games will once again be shared between the BBC and ITV, and full details of the BBC’s coverage of the tournament can be found here.
Here’s SOTB’s complete guide to the ITV’s Euro 2012 coverage:
ITV has assembled a line-up of well-known presenters and pundits for its Euro 2012 coverage.
The studio team will be based in a studio overlooking the Polish capital city Warsaw, and the panoramic views will provide a unique backdrop to the tournament.
Adrian Chiles will lead the channel’s live coverage of the key games, including both of ITV’s live England matches, with Matt Smith presenting selected live games as well as the highlights show.
Joining ITV regulars Gareth Southgate and Andy Townsend in the studio will be Euro 2000 winner Patrick Vieira, former internationals Roy Keane, Jamie Carragher, Gordon Strachan and Wigan manager Roberto Martinez.
Clive Tyldesley will be the channel’s lead commentator for the tournament.
ITV’s ‘voice of football’ will be paired with Andy Townsend in the commentary box and they will cover every live match in Ukraine, including both of ITV’s live England games as well as matches from Group B, the ‘group of death’ involving the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and Denmark.
Peter Drury and Jim Beglin will based in Poland and will cover the Republic of Ireland’s group fixtures, including their games against Croatia and Spain which are live on ITV1.
ITV have loaned in ESPN’s pairing of Jon Champion and Craig Burley, and they will cover selected matches across both host countries.
Joe Speight will commentate on selected non-live games that will be including in the highlights shows.
Roving reports, features and interviews will come from ITV’s acclaimed sports reporters Gabriel Clarke and Ned Boulting.
Gabriel will be embedded with the England team in Krakow, and will interview the players and manager Roy Hodgson on a daily basis.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport said: “I am delighted that we are bringing ITV viewers a fantastic panel of pundits, as well as being the only domestic terrestrial broadcaster with a full team based at the tournament.
“That means we can bring to life for fans the atmosphere and excitement which surrounds Europe’s major international football tournament.
“ITV1 will also be the home of some terrific clashes between the top teams in Europe including Spain v Ireland, Spain v Italy, Portugal v Holland and Ireland v Croatia.”
ITV recruits Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane enjoyed many a heated encounter in their playing days, but will join forces for ITV’s live coverage and highlights packages.
“These were two world class footballers and I’m sure they can set aside their differences and make ITV’s coverage a success,” said Sloane.
“We want to achieve big viewing figures, we’ve got a very strong presentation team and we’re all hoping for success for England.”
ITV’s dedicated Euro 2012 website (itv.com/euro2012) is the broadcaster’s digital offering for the tournament, and will provide live streaming of all ITV matches, as well as the latest news, features, statistics and match highlights and archive clips.
The new site is the first iteration of the brand new digital sport product that will roll out later this year, utilises the real-time rolling news feature, which was launched as part of the new ITV News digital product earlier this year.
The new simple and effective design offers users the option of both a first and second screen experience.
For users who are away from their TV and simply want to watch the tournament, ITV games will be streamed live to the website and featured at the top of the webpage, with the remaining content listed below.
For those who want to use the site as a companion to main screen viewing for matches on both ITV and the BBC, the rolling timeline will include goal highlights, match reports and social media activity as the action happens.
Contextually relevant statistics will also be available toward the right hand side of the website including group details, team statistics and historical match data.
The new site, which is optimised for use on mobiles and tablets, has been created in partnership with digital innovation and service design experts Made by Many.
Julian March, Head of Digital Media, ITV News & Sport, said: “Having successfully launched the ITV News site earlier in the year, we are very excited about launching the Euro 2012 website to provide real-time coverage of the tournament.
“We believe the service is packed to the brim with everything the avid football fan will need, and we look forward to expanding the design of this product to our wider sport offering in due course.”
William Owen, founding partner at Made by Many, said: “This is another successful collaboration between ITV and Made by Many.
“The real time format developed originally for ITV News adds a rich layer of statistics, clips, team news and expert comment to ITV’s live simulcast coverage of Euro 2012; it gives the ITV Sport editorial team the opportunity to respond quickly to events and build coverage before, during and after the match.”