The comments of Jérôme Valcke, FIFA’s General Secretary, about the potential timing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar came as a shock to much of the world soccer community. But how specifically will a shift from summer to winter impact the United States in 2022?
If the World Cup 2022 is scheduled between November 15 and December 15, the following traditional American sport events (just to name a few) will overlap with World Cup TV coverage by FOX Sports:
— Week 11-15 of the NFL regular season
— Several high-profile regional college football tivalries including Ohio State-Michigan, Florida-Florida State, Alabama-Auburn, UCLA-USC and Oregon-Oregon State
— The title games of every major college football conference including the SEC, ACC, PAC 12, Big 12 and Big 10
— Several early season college basketball tournaments that generally include almost every school with a national following
— The final NASCAR race of the season where the points title is determined, and
— Early NBA and NHL regular season games.
And to make matters even more complicated for FOX Sports, if the tournament is held between December 15 and January 15, here are the traditional American sports that will captivate a lot of the nation’s time and attention at the same time World Cup 2022 is being played:
— Week 16 and 17 of the NFL regular season
— NFL Playoffs first two weekends
— College football Bowl games
— College football Playoffs and Championship
— College basketball holiday tournaments
— NHL Winter Classic
— NBA regular season continues
— The start of the Australian Open
— The start of the PGA Tour season
This is arguably the most congested time in the annual American calendar and perhaps the least desirable if you want to generate considerable TV ratings that will entice advertisers.
It will be very interesting to see how things play out going forward but the possibility of a winter World Cup already has many people involved in the game in the United States scratching their heads.