Mullins to lead ESPN commentary team
May 27, 2010
This season's Premiership will reach at climax at Twickenham on Saturday where Leicester tackle Saracens © Getty Images
Nick Mullins has been named as the chief commentator for ESPN's live coverage of next season's Premiership.
Mullins, a veteran of four Rugby World Cups and a Six Nations regular since 2001, joins ESPN having played a major role in presenting the BBC's rugby union coverage in recent years. He began working for the BBC's Rugby Special programme in 1995 and was the corporation's first TV touchline reporter in the early years of its Heineken Cup coverage.
In 25 years at the BBC, Mullins has also covered Wimbledon, the London Marathon, the Boat Race, the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, and, the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
Mullins' appointment continues ESPN's build-up to its first season of Premiership rugby and follows confirmation that former England international Austin Healey will be the broadcaster's lead analyst.
Mullins said, "ESPN has a fantastic track record in broadcasting rugby around the world and it has exciting plans to bring that experience to bear in delivering great coverage to UK rugby fans."
ESPN and Premier Rugby agreed a multi-year deal last year for exclusive live rights to 43 matches per season starting next season and running through to the end of the 2012-13 campaign. The deal includes exclusive live coverage of the Premiership Final and one of the two semi-final matches. The agreement also provides highlight rights for use on ESPNScrum.com and ESPN.co.uk/rugby.
ESPN plans to cover all of its 43 matches each season on-site at the grounds themselves. From a custom-built set, all pre- and post-match discussion and analysis will come live from the game itself, capturing the environment and adding a new dimension to broadcast coverage of the Premiership Rugby. ESPN will unveil further elements of its innovative Premiership Rugby coverage in the coming weeks and months.
Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice President, TV Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa, commented, "ESPN is delighted that Nick is a central part of our Premiership Rugby coverage team. Nick brings a fantastic track record, having covered the sport for many years at all levels. He will be a great asset as we provide rugby fans with great, authentic coverage of the Premiership Rugby."
ESPN's brand new Kit-a-Club deal offers 50 rugby clubs nationwide the chance to kit out their senior, junior and mini rugby sides in the latest Nike rugby kit - at a third of the normal cost. Move fast and your club could be one of them. Click here for full details.
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside