Network unveils new soccer program and adds former soccer player and Coach Rafa Puente to commentator line-upNew York, NY--(HISPANIC PR WIRE - BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 13, 2007--As part of its commitment to Latino sports fans and viewers in the U.S., ESPN Deportes today announced that it is increasing its offerings of news and information shows led with the expansion of SportsCenter and Futbol Picante, the network's Mexican soccer news program. In addition, ESPN Deportes unveiled Ruleta Rusa, a new soccer studio show and signed Rafa Puente, former player, coach and legendary Mexican soccer announcer, to its commentator line-up.
In his primary role, Puente will co-host Futbol Picante. He will also make appearances on SportsCenter and contribute soccer columns to ESPNdeportes.com. Previously, Puente served as the soccer commentator for Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca. As a player, Puente served as goalkeeper for Mexican first division team Atlante (1968-1974) and played with Club America in the mid-70s. Puente also played with the Mexican national team in nearly 50 international matches.
NEW PROGRAMMING INITIATIVES:
SportsCenter (LIVE: Mon. - Sun. 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT; 2 a.m. ET/11 p.m. PT). The network's Spanish-language original production of SportsCenter has been expanded to a one-hour show. ESPN Deportes has aired a 30-minute edition of SportsCenter every day since its launch on January 7, 2007. To date, the network has aired 2,864 live episodes. Similar to ESPN, the 2 a.m. ET shows are re-aired on ESPN Deportes the following morning.
Ruleta Rusa (Su. at 12 noon, ET / 9 a.m., PT). Hosted by Daniel "el Ruso" (the Russian) Brailovsky, former player and coach, Ruleta Rusa will feature in-depth analysis, exclusive interviews and highlights of the best soccer matches of the week. One of the most beloved soccer personalities, Brailovsky holds the distinction of having played for three different countries in international matches, always with FIFA's permission (Uruguay, Argentina and Israel). An attacking midfielder and striker, Brailovsky started his playing career in Uruguay. From 1976-1979 he played for Uruguay's Penarol and led the team to three championship. In 1984, he signed with Mexico's Club America, helping the team to two championships. He also won the national title in Israel twice (1997-1998) as coach for Macabi Haifa, and he took his team to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.
Futbol Picante (Mo. - Sat., Midnight ET / 9 p.m. PT), ESPN Deportes' Mexican soccer news show will expand from two to six days a week. Hosted by Heriberto Murrieta, Ciro Procuna, Brailovsky, David Faitelson, Hector Huerta, Puente, and Felipe Ramos Rizo, the live show features highlights, opinion, debate, analysis and the latest news from players, coaches and insiders both on and off the field. Some of the most popular segments include:
-- Referee Analysis: Former FIFA World Cup referee Felipe Ramos
Rizo analyzes and keeps a watchful eye on referees' decisions.
-- El Ruso's Chalkboard: Brailovsky uses a chalkboard to analyze
the tactical plays in each week's top matches.
-- Canchita Picante (Hot Mini-Field): The fundamentals of the game are analyzed on a miniature version of a soccer field, in addition to daily reports about the latest happenings in Mexican soccer.