FIFA World Cup Draw to air live on Telemundo Deportes and Universo on December 1

The official draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be televised live in the United States on Telemundo Deportes and Universo on Friday, December 1. With the coverage beginning at 9:30am ET, soccer fans in the United States will finally learn which nations will be matched with other countries and what the schedule will look like for the first two weeks of the competition.

The level of anticipation for the FIFA World Cup Draw is always intense. And Telemundo Deportes will have their talent and camera crews in Russia at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow to bring the draw live to you across television and streaming devices.

The coverage by Telemundo Deportes in Spanish, which will be simulcast on Universo (formerly known as NBC Universo), will reveal which countries will be participating in the Groups for the tournament, which will be played June 15 through July 15, 2018 across cities throughout Russia.

Russia, as the host country, will play in the opening game on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

Telemundo Deportes’s two and half hour special will be produced live from the Kremlin State Palace in Moscow, Russia with participation from Telemundo Deportes studios in Miami. Andrés Cantor will host the coverage from Moscow, joined by Telemundo Deportes’ Carlos Hermosillo, Manuel Sol, Miguel Gurwitz, Sammy Sadovnik and Carlota Vizmanos. Ana Jurka, Copan Alvarez and Karim Mendiburu will provide additional content and coverage of the Draw from Telemundo Deportes Miami Studios.

The Telemundo network will extend its coverage across its programming:

“Un Nuevo Día” – Telemundo’s three-time Emmy award-winning morning show will kickoff the coverage on December 1, beginning at 7 a.m. ET, featuring special segments with Telemundo Deportes’ commentary team in Moscow.

Pre-Draw Special – The live draw presentation will be preceded by a special preview at 9:30 a.m. featuring the analysis of Telemundo Deportes’ experts who will discuss the different case scenarios for some of the favorite teams based on the new format of the draw.

Final Draw – The live presentation of the draw begins at 10 a.m. ET; Cantor will provide commentary alongside Gurwitz.

Post-show special – Following the draw, Telemundo Deportes’ experts will present in-depth analysis of the results, plus live reactions, analysis and predictions from former players, coaches and soccer personalities from around the world.

Throughout the special coverage around the Draw, Telemundo Deportes will also feature special segments and reports highlighting the most compelling stories around teams, players, rivalries and surprises around the FIFA World Cup and the 32 teams qualified. The coverage will also highlight the culture of Russia and the 11 cities and venues that will host the action.

The live coverage will also be available via Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app and TelemundoDeportes.com. The streaming will feature widgets showcasing each group’s live results as well as instant social media interaction. Telemundo Deportes’ digital and social media platforms will provide comprehensive content throughout the day, including two Facebook Live specials hosted by Telemundo Deportes’ commentators, featuring analysis and reactions prior and following the draw.

In addition, “Al Rojo Vivo,” “Suelta la Sopa” and “Noticas Telemundo” will provide special segments and content following the results.

In celebration of the Draw, Telemundo will showcase the creation of an artwork mural, live at the iconic Wynwood Art District in Miami, FL. The mural will be crafted by the renowned Miami artist Lebo who’s known for his compelling visual work, and will feature the countries participating in the World Cup using anything from cultural inspiration to star players. The artwork will be unveiled on December 1, following the Draw results.

The anticipated Draw debuts a new format for the 2018 FIFA World Cup where all teams will be allocated into four different pots based on sporting principles with each pot containing eight teams. The FIFA ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, with the best seven teams along with host Russia in pot 1. The other 24 best ranked teams will be distributed accordingly in the remainder pots. FIFA said the only geographical constraint would be that no group could include two teams from the same continent, with the exception of Europe.

Teams qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup:

Africa: Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia

Asia: Australia, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

Europe: Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden.

North, Central America and Caribbean: Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama

South America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay

SEE MORE: Schedule of World Cup games on US TV and streaming

For soccer fans, the World Cup Draw is a major highlight of the soccer calendar. The anticipation and excitement are usually at a fever pitch as fans around the globe find out who will be playing whom (and who, as always, gets the Group of Death).

FOX Sports will also broadcast the World Cup Draw, but no coverage details had been announced as of press time.