One of the biggest criticisms about FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is that the vast majority of announcers and co-commentators were calling games off a monitor from a studio in Los Angeles, over six thousand miles away from the Russian capital.
But in positive news, FOX Sports has decided to fly commentator Derek Rae and co-commentator Aly Wagner to Russia to announce Sunday’s Spain-Russia game and Tuesday’s match between Colombia and England.
With Rae and Wagner arriving in Moscow, it gives FOX Sports more options to consider in the remaining two weeks of the tournament. Wagner is a better studio analyst than commentator, so we could see her commentating games as well as appearing on the studio set in Red Square where she can offer her analysis.
With Wagner being the first woman to commentate a World Cup on US television in English, she’s also a positive public relations story for FOX Sports particularly during a tournament where the broadcaster has taken a beating from most of the US media.
Meanwhile, as a commentator, Rae adds a huge amount of credibility and authenticity to FOX’s broadcasts. As we’ve seen on NBC’s coverage of the Premier League, Rae can also step in with hosting abilities. But it’s more likely that we may see an appearance on the World Cup Tonight show depending on travel commitments.
Overall, having Rae and Wagner in Russia to call games from the stadium and to offer their analysis in Moscow gives FOX Sports plenty of options to consider in the final two weeks of this tournament.