It's almost a ritual of Argentine TV. A new edition of the Summer Olympics is just around the corner and, with it, where else to follow the action live than through the lens of TyC Sports and the mic of Gonzalo 'el Gordo' Bonadeo?
While the latest edition of the mega-event, held in Beijing in 2008, had already seen the country's national public broadcaster (la Televisión Pública) showing several hours of live programming – something the station will no doubt look to replicate this summer – the biggest contender that TyC will face during London 2012 will come from the pay-TV sector.
ESPN is busy at the moment putting together a game plan that the American network hopes will be enough to snatch gold away from the Argentine channel traditionally linked with coverage of the Olympics.
The initial step was taken when the Walt Disney-owned company became the official channel for the Olympic Games in Latin America. Then, less than a month ago, the sports network provided further indication of its intentions by announcing – together with the launch of a new channel, ESPN3, on Cablevisión – that this channel would be carrying live coverage of the London 2012 Olympics.
Now, ESPN sources quoted by Argentine newspaper El Cronista have confirmed that the company has even already rented a house in Covent Garden (Central London), which will be used to host and interview athletes and sports personalities from all over the world.
ESPN will bring to London a team of sports broadcasters that will be covering a range of disciplines directly from each of the main venues. The network will transmit over 35 hours of live coverage a day, with over a third of it in HD.
As for the main TV presenters that ESPN will employ to go head-to-head with the experienced Bonadeo, the company will turn to two of its regular journalists: Miguel Simón and former Racing Club and Real Madrid player Enrique 'Quique' Wolff.