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FOX Sports acquires rights to Copa America Centenario

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FOX Sports has acquired the English-language TV rights to Copa America Centenario, according to a report by Sports Business Daily.

As we first reported in May 2015, FOX Sports was on the verge of acquiring the English-language TV rights to Copa America Centenario after a competitive bidding process between several US sports networks. And then all of the scandals erupted within CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, which put the entire future of the tournament in peril.

Thankfully, after much deliberation, officials from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL were able to come to an agreement to continue with the tournament. But a key element of the agreement was that the bidding for the TV rights to the tournament would need to start all over again. That put FOX Sports at a slight disadvantage because the sports networks that originally placed bids on Copa America Centenario in May, 2015 would have known roughly what FOX’s winning bid was.

Nevertheless, FOX Sports came through again with the winning bid, and this time — for sure — will be the rights holder to this summer’s stellar tournament, which should be a ratings bonanza for the FOX Sports networks.

According to a World Soccer Talk source, accomplished sports TV producer David Neal will again be handed the reins at FOX to oversee a world-class production of the tournament as he did for the Women’s World Cup.

FOX Sports is expected to officially announce the news later this week. Meanwhile, Univision has already announced that they have acquired the Spanish-language TV rights to the prestigious tournament.

Copa America Centenario will feature the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. In addition to the CONMEBOL countries, USA and Mexico are automatic qualifiers. Costa Rica, Haiti, Panama and Jamaica will also participate.

The special edition of the South American championship, the first to be played beyond the continent, will include 10 South American sides plus six from North America in an event to pay tribute to a century of South American soccer with some of the world’s top talent on display. The event will be staged in US venues from June 3-26, 2016.

The tournament kicks off on June 3 at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the home of the San Francisco 49ers and the venue for next month’s Super Bowl. The final is to take place on June 26 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010, has hosted US matches against five-time World Cup champion Brazil and Argentina. In 2012, the venue hosted a Brazil-Argentina match that drew 81,994 spectators. It also hosted the NFL’s Super Bowl in 2014.

Other venues include: Foxborough, Massachusetts (Gillette Stadium), Chicago (Soldier Field), Houston (NRG Stadium), Pasadena (Rose Bowl), Orlando (Citrus Bowl Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), Phoenix (University of Phoenix Stadium), the San Francisco Bay Area (Levi’s Stadium) and Seattle (CenturyLink Field). Most venues will host at least three matches.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. aaron

    February 1, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    BEIN has far better coverage in english of latin american football. They are much more knowledgable then Fox (which is horrible at pre game/post game) ESPN is not committed. NBCSN could build the platform into Latin based football coverage as they know how to do it with class, professionalism. Fox will just do rehash of their champions, bundesliga, FA cup. Same pregame, avg. coverage ( all american except a few english).

  2. CTBlues

    January 27, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Fox was the only real option. ESPN has the Euros and NBC the Olympics. CBS and Turner Sports could care less about soccer. I’m just class BeIn didn’t get it.

    • Lawrence Dockery

      January 27, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      beIn is good at what they do. Showing European league re-runs. Their commentators are almost exclusively in a broom closet at the studio. And no manner of glitzy TV stages/sets can change that. They also have very low distribution. Fox has a much greater reach.

  3. Lawrence Dockery

    January 27, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I think it’s a good thing that Fox got the rights. It’s just another opportunity to improve and fine tune their big tournament soccer coverage before World Cup 2018. The did much better than I expected with the Women’s World Cup last year and their Gold Cup coverage was as good as it had ever been(they actually had commentators at the stadium for the US games, a rarity).

  4. Gabe

    January 27, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Chris,
    Any idea what’s going on with Copa Libertadores rights?, has been on Fox Deportes for a long time however it doesn’t show up on their schedule next week, scandal related I suspect.

    • Christopher Harris

      January 27, 2016 at 7:30 am

      I haven’t heard any news on that one, Gabe.

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