After watching FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2018 World Cup for the first three days of the tournament, I’ve given up on their poor, dumbed-down coverage. Instead, I’ve switched to watching the World Cup games on Telemundo, and I’m loving every minute of it.
Even though I don’t speak Spanish, the differences in watching World Cup games on Telemundo are dramatic. First, the commentators have a lot more energy and passion in the way they’re calling games. If you listen to the English-speaking commentators on FOX Sports, you’ll notice how monotone and lifeless the announcers are. They suck the excitement out of the games and deliver a commentary that sounds as if they’re calling any meaningless game. This is the World Cup after all, and the commentators on Telemundo are able to call the game with such an enthusiasm that they pack a powerful punch.
Second, the sound levels are so much better for World Cup games on Telemundo. Maybe it’s because the Telemundo commentators are actually in the stadium instead of in a sterile FOX studio in Los Angeles, but the World Cup sounds more authentic on Telemundo. The crowd noise is louder, which pulls you into the game and makes you feel like you’re part of the experience.
Third, many of the games on FOX Sports have a time delay that is 20 to 30 seconds behind the Telemundo broadcast. So if you’re the type of fan who wants to have as close to a near-live experience as possible, Telemundo is your best bet. With FOX, you’ll hear the goal call approximately 20-30 seconds after Telemundo.
Speaking of goal calls, the fourth reason why Telemundo’s World Cup coverage excels is because of the number one soccer commentator in the United States: Andrés Cantor. No matter what language you speak, I don’t believe there’s another man on this planet who can capture the pure emotion of what it’s like for a goal to be scored than Cantor (just listen to his commentary of Mexico’s winner against Germany). The man is a legend, and there are few better joys for soccer viewers than hearing one of his magnificent goal calls (as well as the pacing and style of his commentary throughout the remainder of games, which is equally as magical).
Fifth and finally, Telemundo Deportes is doing a far better job than FOX Sports with its analysis of key incidents in games. Thus far, FOX’s half-time and post-match analysis have been mediocre at best. It’s clear to see that Telemundo is taking the time to analyze moments that have huge meaning in games. You’ll see on-screen analysis that zooms in on key penalty decisions to determine if contact was made (such as the France-Australia incident). In contrast, FOX Sports aren’t taking the time to analyze huge moments in games and are so focused are moving the topic on to the next game that they fail to address the topics that soccer fans want to hear. Where was the discussion regarding whether Russia’s fourth goal was offside against Saudi Arabia, and whether VAR was used or not? Where was FOX’s discussion about the Amrabat concussion incident in the Morocco-Iran game? And so on. While FOX seems to be very rigid and unwilling to adapt to change by their decision not to tackle topics that soccer fans want immediate analysis on, Telemundo is focusing more on delivering what viewers want — expert analysis and opinions instead of talking heads.
So far this World Cup, Telemundo Deportes are light years ahead of FOX Sports in their coverage of the World Cup on US television. For this World Cup, Telemundo has become must-see TV.