We’ve spent the last several months researching all of the details about the FOX Sports World Cup TV coverage, which we’re pleased to share with you below.
In 2011, FOX Sports won the bid to be the exclusive English-language rights holder to the FIFA World Cup for 2018 and 2022, which was later followed by acquiring the rights to World Cup 2026. The Russia 2018 tournament will be FOX’s first men’s World Cup.
Here’s the FAQ about the FOX Sports World Cup TV coverage:
Q: How much did FOX Sports pay for the rights to be the exclusive English-language broadcaster in the United States for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup?
A: FOX Sports paid $425 million for the US English-language rights, which at the time seemed like a bargain. That was until the US Men’s National Team crashed out of qualifying for World Cup 2018.
As an aside, the FOX Sports team learned they had won the bid for the World Cup TV rights when one of their executives announced the code word to his colleagues. That code word was poo-poo. True story.
Q: What does FOX Sports get exactly with the rights to the World Cup?
A: They have the exclusive English-language rights to broadcast the World Cup games live and on-demand in the United States. Telemundo has the Spanish-language rights.
Meanwhile, Twitter is paying FOX Sports millions of dollars for the rights to broadcast goal highlights on that social medium. More about that below.
Q: What are the dates and kick-off times for the World Cup games in this tournament?
A: The competition runs from June 14 to July 15. Most of the games will begin at 8am ET, 11am ET and 2pm ET. But be sure to bookmark the World Cup TV schedule so you don’t miss a single match.
Q: Which FOX channels will broadcast the World Cup?
A: FOX Sports will televise 38 games on the over-the-air big FOX network while 26 will be on FS1.
Q: Will FOX Sports have replays of the games each day?
A: FOX hasn’t released any details about whether there’ll broadcast replays of games or not. Your best bet is to DVR the games (see more info below) or try to find the games on-demand.
For streaming, replays of games will be available via the FOX Sports App as well as via select on-demand services.
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: If you don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription, what’s the best way to access every single World Cup game?
A: The best way for cord cutters to watch the World Cup is via a legal streaming service such as fuboTV, which offers access to all the channels you need (FOX, FS1, Telemundo and Universo). Plus, fuboTV includes 30 hours of DVR storage at no extra cost.
fubo offers a 7-day free trial to fuboTV for USA residents.
When you register, you’ll need to enter your zip code to see which local FOX and Telemundo channels you can access (which are available in most cities; see cities below).
As of press time, here are the cities where fuboTV is able to access local FOX over-the-air networks:
Albuquerque, Anderson, Asheville, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Belmont, Boston, Buffalo, Cape Girard, Champaign, Charleston-Huntington, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbia, Columbus, Dallas, Davenport, Dayton, Daytona Bch, Decatur, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, El Paso, Fargo, Flint, Florence, Fort Myers, Fort Worth, Fort Wayne, Fresno, Gainesville, Grand Rapids, Greensboro, Greenville, Harrisburg, Hartford, Hastings, Honolulu, Houston, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Kearny (NE), Las Vegas, Lexington, Lincoln, Little Rock, Longview, Los Angeles, Louisville, Macon, Madison, Melbourne, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Moline, Monterey, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oakland, Ocala, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Paducah, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Providence, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Rock Island, Roanoke, Sacramento, Salinas, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Marcos, Santa Barbara, Sarasota, Savannah, Seattle, Sioux Falls, South Bend, Spartanburg, Spokane, Springfield, Springfield (MO), St Louis, St Paul, St Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa, Thomasville, Tyler, Valley City, Visalia, Washington DC, Waco, Wichita and Wilkes-Barre.
Q: What other streaming options are available?
A: You can watch games live and on-demand via FOX Sports GO and FOX Sports App, but authentication is required for both (meaning that you have to log in with your cable or satellite login details in order to prove that you subscribe to the channels via TV).
FOX Soccer Match Pass will not stream any World Cup games.
Q: Will FOX Sports broadcast any of the games in HD?
A: All of the World Cup games will be televised in HD (and streamed in HD via fuboTV).
Q: What about 4K HDR broadcasts?
A: On Hisense TVs, customers will be able to stream 2018 World Cup Games in 4K and HDR with access to as many as 37 camera angles via an exclusive app named the FOX Sports: 2018 FIFA World Cup Edition.
Q: Tell me more about FOX’s pre-game coverage for the World Cup.
A: Every morning beginning at 6am ET, FOX Sports will broadcast their show called FIFA World Cup Live, which will be hosted by Kate Abdo. The show will be televised live from FOX’s studio in Red Square, Moscow. The show will feature the latest news, previews and analysis each morning.
Q: What is FIFA World Cup Today?
A: Hosted by Rob Stone, the show will feature a rotation of studio analysts including Lothar Matthäus, Guus Hiddink, Alexi Lalas, Kelly Smith, Ian Wright, Moises Muñoz and Hernan Crespo. They’ll analyze each game, as well as providing half-time and post-match analysis.
Q: What coverage will FOX Sports have in the evenings?
A: FOX Sports will broadcast FIFA World Cup Tonight with host Fernando Fiore each late afternoon/early evening. The coverage will be live from FOX’s studio at Red Square, Moscow.
Q: Tell me more about FOX Sports’ studio that they’ll be using in the World Cup.
A: The 27ft x 35ft studio space in Moscow’s Red Square will feature two looks. The main one will be a desk-facing presentation to cover for the FIFA World Cup Today show with Stone, and then a more casual look for FIFA World Cup Tonight, hosted by Fiore.
Watch the video to see what FOX’s studio looks like.
Q: How many cameras will FOX Sports be using to broadcast the games from the stadiums?
A: FOX Sports won’t have any of their own cameras inside the stadiums. Instead, they’ll be taking the video feed from Host Broadcast Services (HBS). FOX will then use their own commentators for the audio feed (more about that below).
HBS will be using 37 manned cameras. Eight of them will be used for Super Motion. HBS is also using a cable-cam as well as a camera from a helicopter for each match. Plus there’ll be:
• Touch Line Steadicams,
• behind-the-goal cranes,
• in-goal cameras,
• Several wireless cameras, and
• ultra-mini, high-frame-rate pole-cams behind each goal.
Q: How many staff members will FOX Sports have in Russia?
A: FOX Sports will have roughly 200 staffers in Russia including 37 members of talent.
Q: Who will FOX’s analysts and commentators be?
A: FOX’s commentary teams in Russia are John Strong and Stuart Holden, and JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola.
FOX’s commentary teams calling games from a TV monitor in a Los Angeles studio are Derek Rae and Aly Wagner; Glenn Davis and Cobi Jones; Jorge Pérez-Navarro and Mariano Trujillo; Mark Followill and Warren Barton.
Studio hosts: Kate Abdo, Rob Stone, Fernando Fiore, Ian Joy
Studio analysts: Hernan Crespo, Guus Hiddink, Alexi Lalas, Dr. Joe Machnik, Lothar Matthäus, Moises Muñoz, Kelly Smith, Ian Wright
Reporters: Maria Komandnaya, Rodolfo Landeros, Geoff Shreeves (England reporter), Sergey Gordeev, Rachel Bonnetta, Rodolfo Landeros (Mexico reporter) and Jenny Taft.
Read our guide to FOX’s World Cup commentators, presenters and analysts.
Q: Why did FOX Sports select so many American announcers?
A: According to FOX Sports Executive Producer David Neal, he said “I did not go in saying I wanted 50 or 60 percent American voices, but I did want as many as we could do because I think it is important as we grow the popularity of the sport in the United States that it not be contingent on foreign voices doing the play-by-play.”
World Soccer Talk’s opinion is that the best commentators should be selected and that it shouldn’t be based on the country where they were born.
We also believe that FOX’s decision to have 66% of their commentators calling games from a studio in Los Angeles is inauthentic.
Q: What were the TV ratings for the last World Cup by ESPN?
A: The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the most-viewed World Cup ever on English-language TV in the United States. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC combined to average 4,557,000 viewers for the 64 matches, a 39 percent increase in viewership over 2010 (3,273,000).
Q: Where can we see goal highlights for the World Cup?
A: Highlights: Goals and key incidents from all of the games will be available via FOX’s pre-match and post-match coverage (see above) as well as FOXSports.com and TelemundoDeportes.com. FOX highlights will also be available via Twitter. With Twitter, real-time highlights, player interviews and pre- and post-match press conferences will be available via the social media platform.
Q: Will the World Cup be available in other languages for viewers in the United States?
A: Sling TV is offering all 64 games in Portuguese, French, Polish and Arabic. The games will feature the FOX video feed and then the foreign audio commentary for the languages listed. They’re also offering a “no commentary” feed with just the crowd noise.
Read our article about Sling TV’s coverage to learn more about their foreign-language feeds.
Q: What about radio coverage of the World Cup?
A: There are rumors that FOX Sports Radio will broadcast the games, but no details have been announced. We understand that the Spanish-language rights to the tournament are held by Fútbol de Primera.
Q: How many US households is FOX and FS1 in?
A: FOX is in 114 million homes, while FS1 is in 84 million US households.
Q: What is FOX’s music theme for the World Cup?
A: Entitled “Where Angels Fear To Tread,” the song is a classical song composed by Kirill Richter. Listen to and watch the song here.
Have any questions about the FOX Sports World Cup TV coverage? Let us know in the comments section below.