RIO DE JANEIRO – One of the most widely praised elements of ESPN’s 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage has been the “Last Call” set on the nightly World Cup Tonight show. Designed by ESPN Creative Services to resemble a Brazilian lounge, the area is adorned with wood accents – flooring, deck chairs and a rectangular table with bowls of fresh fruit and drink glasses filled with water and limes.
Conversation at the end of each night shifts from the formal anchor desk nearby to this casual environment. Instead of using a formal rundown like most studio shows, “Last Call” is much more free-flowing. The format has allowed hosts and analysts to have more lengthy conversations about the World Cup and topics of the day. They’ve also been able to throw off their ties and jackets — Alexi Lalas even wears red casual shoes and often dons a straw hat.
In the video above, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer Jed Drake, who is overseeing ESPN’s World Cup coverage, discusses “Last Call” and how the idea sprang from nightly conversations in the hotel bar in Johannesburg, South Africa, during World Cup 2010.
Video produced by Bill Hofheimer and Josh Lander