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Ian Darke to Join ESPN

Multiple outlets are reporting that Ian Darke will move from Sky Sports to ESPN where he’ll be the voice of the English Premier League, focusing on the network’s Sunday and Monday telecasts as well as major international tournaments and US internationals.

Darke, who’s been with Sky for 20 years, rose to prominence in America during the 2010 World Cup. Although legend Martin Tyler served as the Worldwide Leader’s No. 1 play-by-play man, Darke called important matches including US-Algeria and fans fell for his charming combination of passion and knowledge.

The move shows ESPN’s continued commitment to growing its soccer efforts. The Bristol, CT-based channel had to outbid Sky to procure Darke’s services, which couldn’t have come cheaply.

Steve McManaman, who was also part of ESPN’s ’10 World Cup coverage, will join Darke in the broadcast booth.

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