For soccer fans in the United States, we’ve compiled all of the details about the World Cup TV schedule and World Cup TV coverage in one place. Plus we’ve answered several questions from you, the readers, so you have all of the information you need at your fingertips.
World Cup TV coverage FAQ:
Q: Who will be showing World Cup 2018 for viewers in the United States?
A: FOX Sports has the exclusive English-language rights to World Cup 2018, while Telemundo has the exclusive Spanish-language rights to World Cup 2018.
Q: How many games will be televised live on FOX Sports and Telemundo?
A: Every single game will be shown live in the United States. According to Telemundo, 56 of the 64 games will be shown live on Telemundo while the remaining eight matches will be on Universo.
FOX Sports will televise 38 games on the over-the-air big FOX network while 26 will be on FS1.
Q: Where is the World Cup TV schedule?
A: We’ve created a World Cup TV schedule that combines all of the viewing options available to soccer fans in the United States.
Q: What are the kickoff times for the World Cup 2018 games?
A: Since Russia is hosting the games and the country has a significant time zone difference with the United States, the kick-off times aren’t optimal for viewers in the States. Here’s the complete list of World Cup kickoff times. Most games will be at 8am ET, 11am ET and 2pm ET.
Q: How much World Cup coverage will each network have?
A: Telemundo will have 17 hours of 2018 World Cup coverage per day, which will total over 500 hours of World Cup-related programming across Telemundo and Universo as well as more than 1,000 hours of original content across Telemundo Deportes’ digital platforms.
FOX Sports promises 350 hours of FIFA World Cup programming.
Q: What will FOX’s schedule of pre-match, post-match and entertainment shows look like?
A: Read our article to find out all of the details.
Q: How can I stream the World Cup legally and not miss anything?
Q: When is the tournament?
A: June 14 to July 15, 2018.
Q: How many games will feature commentators from Telemundo and FOX Sports at the stadiums in Russia, and what is the lineup of commentators who will be there?
A: Telemundo has announced that they will have announcers in the stadiums for approximately 65% of the games, while the other 35% of games will feature commentators announcing games from the International Broadcast Center in Moscow. Telemundo’s lead commentator will be Andres Cantor who has worked at 10 World Cup tournaments in his stellar career.
For FOX Sports, 65% of FOX Sports’ commentators will be housed in Los Angeles calling the World Cup games off TV monitors. The others — John Strong/Stu Holden and JP Dellacamera/Tony Meola — will be calling games from the stadiums in Russia.
Read our guide to FOX’s World Cup commentators, analysts and presenters.
And check out our guide to Telemundo’s commentators, presenters and studio analysts.
Q: What talent will the networks have for World Cup 2018?
A: Telemundo’s lineup includes Andres Cantor, Sammy Sadovnik, Miguel Gurwitz, Ana Jurka, Carlos Hermosillo, Karim Mendiburu, Copan Alvarez, Manuel Sol, Juan Pablo Sorín, Claudio Borghi, Sebastián “El Loco” Abreu, Rolando Fonseca, Juan Pablo Ángel and Horacio Elizondo.
FOX’s lineup features commentators John Strong/Stu Holden, JP Dellacamera/Tony Meola, Derek Rae/Aly Wagner, Glenn Davis/Cobi Jones, Mark Followill/Warren Barton and Jorge Perez-Navarro/Mariano Trujillo. Match presenters and analysts include: Rob Stone (presenter), Kate Abdo (presenter), Fernando Fiore (presenter), Ian Joy (presenter), Alexi Lalas, Aly Wagner, Ian Wright, Lothar Matthäus, Moises Muñoz, Kelly Smith, Hernan Crespo, Guus Hiddink and Dr Joe Machnik.
Q: How many World Cup tournaments has FOX Sports and Telemundo televised before?
A: It’s the first time ever that FOX Sports and Telemundo have televised a men’s World Cup tournament. FOX Sports televised the 2015 Women’s World Cup, while Telemundo’s parent company NBC Universal has hosted several Olympics.
Q: How will Telemundo differentiate itself from FOX Sports (and vice-versa)?
A: Telemundo’s Jim Bell says, “I think our coverage is always different. I think it’s more authentic. We all believe it’s more fun. And having our announcers at the venues, depending on how far FOX cuts back, I think everyone believes that you just get a better call when you smell the grass and seeing it in three dimensions and calling it from the booth.”
“Our goal from the beginning has been to create the most authentic and consumer-engaging coverage of a World Cup that has ever been seen in the United States,” said Telemundo Deportes Executive Vice President Eli Velazquez. “We’re looking at how we can create the most engaging, in-depth and authentic coverage that will be relatable not just to diehard soccer fans but also to the casual fans.”
In addition, Telemundo Deportes announced its first ever daily special prime-time show exclusively dedicated to World Cup, live on Telemundo. Airing nightly at 7 p.m. ET on Telemundo, throughout the duration of the tournament, the show marks the first time ever a U.S. broadcaster of the World Cup produces a prime time show solely dedicated to the World Cup.
FOX Sports’ presentation of the global event features more soccer matches on broadcast television than the last four World Cups combined (English-language).
On a daily basis, FOX will keep viewers updated on all of the latest news, discussion and highlights with two shows. The first is World Cup Live. It’ll be hosted by Kate Abdo from 6am ET as it previews that day’s action. The matches will be hosted by Rob Stone. Then every evening, FOX will broadcast World Cup Tonight every afternoon from Russia with Fernando Fiore as the host of the daily highlights and discussion show.
Q: What are the expectations from the broadcasters regarding the number of viewers that will tune in to the World Cup games?
A: Telemundo Executive Producer Jim Bell says that “this World Cup will be the most consumed event in Spanish-language history given the proliferation of [mobile, computer and tablet] screens, social and digital and good ‘ol linear television.” No specific estimates were given in terms of numbers, but the expectations are high.
FOX Sports’ Executive Producer David Neal says that “We are not going to judge ourselves on the ratings and the numbers and it is really is an apples to oranges comparison. We will judge ourselves on the level of excellence we expect from ourselves and we won’t get distracted by numbers.”
Q: What impact will the United States not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup have on the coverage?
A: “It’s unfortunate that the United States didn’t make it in [to the World Cup],” said Telemundo Deportes President Ray Warren. “But we’re going to serve our fans because it’s the World Cup. We have no plans to do anything less because of [the US not qualifying].”
Meanwhile, it’s understood that FOX Sports slashed their World Cup budget as a result of the US Men’s National Team failing to qualify.
Q: How many homes is Telemundo available in?
A: Telemundo is in more than 53 million homes in the United States. It reaches 94% of U.S. Hispanic viewers in 210 markets through its 17 owned stations and 55 broadcast affiliates. In addition, Telemundo also owns WKAQ, a local television station serving Puerto Rico.
Universo is available in more than 40 million households.
Q: What about reruns of World Cup games for soccer fans who miss the live games?
A: Universo will carry encore presentations of each day’s games beginning at 5 p.m. ET every day from Friday, June 15 through Sunday, June 24. During the last week of the group stage, from Monday, June 25, through Thursday, June 28, encores will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET. For the round of 16 and through the Final, encore presentations will air each night beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
FOX Sports has released no details about re-runs, but games will be available on-demand via their FOX Sports Go and FOX Sports apps.
Q: Will Telemundo have an SAP option?
A: No, Telemundo will not have a SAP option. Telemundo has the exclusive Spanish-language rights so they’re not allowed to broadcast games in English-language even via SAP. Vice-versa, FOX Sports will not have a SAP option to feature Spanish-language commentary.
Q: How can I watch the World Cup in 4K HDR?
Telemundo will offer a special multi camera 4K feed available on a video-on-demand, next-day basis for every game through Comcast and xFinity.
Q: What are the plans to broadcast the World Cup games on radio?
A: As of press time, FOX Sports have released zero details on their radio plans. What we do know is that Fútbol de Primera will broadcast the games on Spanish-language radio (see radio schedule). Here are the alternatives to listen to the World Cup on radio in the United States for English-language soccer fans.
Q: What programming will beIN SPORTS have during the World Cup?
A: While beIN SPORTS does not have the rights to broadcast the World Cup, beIN SPORTS will have an impressive list of original content during the World Cup.
Q: Where can I find commentaries of the World Cup in languages other than English and Spanish?
A: Read our complete list of international commentaries available for the World Cup including Arabic, French, Portuguese and Polish.