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Why the World Cup is better on Telemundo

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.

 

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43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. Erica

    June 24, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Since I don’t have FoxSports, most of the games I’ve watched have been on Telemundo(7 years of Spanish lessons come in handy). I had the “pleasure” of watching Fox on Saturdays matches. While it’s nice to see a game in HD, the amateur commentary from the announcers ruined it. From the over-stereotypical JPN to the other announcers who treat the audience as if their first football tournament. Incredible because NBCSports have done a brilliant job with the EPL. While Telemundo isn’t perfect-had a Korean joke during their match, etc at least they don’t pepper their play by play with stupid asides. Watching Fox, I sometimes feel I’m watching the Best In Show Fred Williard announcer.

  2. Ivan

    June 23, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Are the folks at Fox oblivious? This is shocking…the worst World Cup coverage that I can remember…between play-by-play embarrassments like the Jorge guy to the terrible and generally useless “pundits” in the studio…and, please, pretty please, can someone get “doctor” Joe Manchik out of there…for the sake of humanity, get him out of there…

  3. Andres

    June 23, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I also prefer Telemundo but the app does have a 45 second delay, which makes it rather annoying, when I hear neighbors at my work calling goals before the play has even started on my phone. I wish they would fix that. Fox’s delay is worse, but 45 seconds is pretty bad.

  4. cm asia

    June 21, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I posted the following in another thread, but thought it made sense to add it here as well:

    Watching Fox Sports Go “360” live on my big screen. One camera coverage from behind one goal. Natural sound from the venue. No replays
    Also watching FOX coverage on a computer monitor close by, which is about 5 seconds behind the “360” feed.

    The 360 camera angle has been terrific as you see all 22 players all the time, and watching “off the ball” action has been very instructional on team shape and tactics.

    And anytime there is a play that FOX will replay, a quick visit to the computer monitor lets me see other angles.

    Never have to listen to a commentator unless something happens that needs an explanation.

    Anyone else doing something similar?

    Oh, and I’d rather read the “live” pre and post match commentary on sites like BBC and The Guardian, than listen to the Fox talking heads.

  5. FoxSux

    June 21, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    its not just world cup coverage. They constantly drop the ball when covering MLS as well, zooming in on players off the ball while play is happening, showing unimportant slo mo replays while an attack is happening off camera. horrible commentary. just absolutely atrocious coverage period. I would watch without commentary if that was an available option.

  6. ellie

    June 20, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    I was watched Iran-Spain when Fox news west michigan stopped the game to show breaking news: a trump press conference! Are you kidding! What are they thinking! I’m watching Fox sports via Hulu. A mistake?

  7. ali

    June 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Hearing Jorge Perez-Navarro yell “3-2-1 FIRE” and “It’s soccer time” is terrible. I get Telemundo in SD (thanks Spectrum!) and I’m still watching it on Telemundo. The Fox Spanish commentators were pretty decent too; those are on NBCSN but I’ve only seen one game there. I wish SAP was actually used for Spanish

  8. Alexander Louis Gago

    June 19, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    The english commentary has improved over the years. Indeed, I do enjoy play-by-play by Andrés Cantor is an Argentine sportscaster and pundit who works in the United States providing Spanish-language commentary and analysis in sports. Hey, I come from the dark day of U.S. Soccer 1980 period so I am loving all this coverage. We need to learn from Andres how he uses certain words and calls the game with his sole. America will get better at play-by-play. I bought You Tube television and watch all the games streaming.

  9. DiRT

    June 19, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    The Telemundo feed through my YTTV service is a full minute and a half behind FOX.

  10. Jonathan Ramirez

    June 19, 2018 at 1:01 am

    I’m watching the Telemundo feed and I thought that their coverage has been good so far. The only nitpick I have is that the live stream of the Telemundo Deportes app is locked at 30fps, which kind of sucks when watching a football match imo. As for Fox, I really don’t have any opinion on their coverage given that I only watched previous world cup matches in spanish.

  11. Jestak

    June 18, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Even though I do not speak Spanish, I am also watching the cup on Telemundo. Two words: Andres Cantor.

  12. Eldo Feldo

    June 18, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for calling out Fox on this terrible coverage and especially Aly Wagner, who is utter disgrace to soccer commentators.

  13. David

    June 18, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I agree with everyone here. Fox’s World Cup coverage and announcers have been ridiculously awful. I don’t know if it’s just me but John Strong seems like he’s a few seconds off of what’s actually happening on the pitch. I understand some Spanish, so I’ll have to give Telemundo a try. The only reason I’m suffering myself to Fox announcers is that’s what the 4K feed is using on Directv. The worst part about this is we are stuck with Fox for the next 2 World Cup’s.

  14. Steven

    June 18, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    The World Cup is the biggest sports tournament in the world and Fox has no idea how to cover it. They treat it like it’s some by-the-way tournament not deserving of special treatment. Fox is doing soccer a disservice as it won’t convert many, if any, to the sport. They almost seem unexcited about the spectacle.

    I agree that in the US we are lucky to have Telemundo as a backup. Even though we may not understand Spanish at least we get to feel the atmosphere and rhythm of the matches.

  15. Art Mayers

    June 18, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Fox commentators are horrible. Aly Wagner has no idea how fast and physical the play is, but always critical of players ” he should have passed, waited” etc. Why not dress her up and put her on the pitch for a minute. Please more excitement about you are watching and less second guessing.

  16. Tayo

    June 18, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Gaffer,
    Hoping you can answer this question. Any idea why ESPNFC are not showing the World Cup Highlights? What is the point of watching an ‘highlight show’ without actually watching any Highlights, all they do is talk, talk and talk. I thought ESPN is cool with FOX.

    • Christopher Harris

      June 18, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      FOX has a great relationship with ESPN, but the powers that be at FOX decided not to give permission to ESPN to show highlights on the World Cup editions of the SportsCenter show each night.

      FOX is concerned that more people would tune in to ESPN each evening to watch the highlights instead of watching the games or highlights on FOX.

      In previous World Cup tournaments, ESPN gave permission to FOX to show goal highlights. For this tournament, the favor was not returned.

      • nosferatu

        June 18, 2018 at 5:08 pm

        That’s so telling about Fox. What a dirtbag network from the top on down.

    • Mike

      June 18, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      BEIN Sports has a pretty good daily recap nightly. Additionally, they have a Facebook Live show with competent pundits like Ray Hudson that airs at halftime of each match. If nothing else, it will take the arrogant Alexi Lalas (#I’ve_never_won_anything) out of the equation.

  17. Rob

    June 18, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    watching on SlingTV they have a Cable Cam with no commentators!! fantastic.
    The Fox coverage is just embarrassing for the biggest football competition in the world, I bet Warren Barton is one of those annoying people who talks throughout concerts too.

  18. Ernesto Gutierrez

    June 18, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Unfortunately, I am not surprised by the poor coverage by Fox of the World Cup. I have been disappointed by their UEFA Champions League Coverage, and their coverage of Russia 2018 is no better. Contrast this with NBC’s EPL coverage in the last few years. I find the NBC crew superior in all aspects- the live commentating, the pregame, half time, and post game analyses make me understand the game and keys moments much better.

  19. Timm

    June 18, 2018 at 11:40 am

    While I want to make the jump fully to Telemundo, watching the matches on Playstation Vue is ridiculous.

    I keep my iPad Pro at work to watch all the matches, but PS Vue shows Telemundo in standard definition and the picture is letterboxed on all four sides. It uses maybe 50 percent of the screen.

    So, full HD on Fox with bland, nonsensical commentary or passionate commentary with a reduced, grainy image.

    Then again, I am watching the World Cup at work.

    • Timm

      June 18, 2018 at 11:45 am

      Disregard the above post. Downloaded the Telemundo App and used the PS Vue credentials to watch the match. Still not 60fps like the FoxSportsGo app is, but I can live with 30fps and a fullscreen picture.

      Cheers.

      • ali

        June 19, 2018 at 1:37 pm

        Thanks for this tip. I’m going to try the Telemundo app on Android TV with my Spectrum credentials later. I’ve been watching it in SD since Fox is just that bad

  20. Joe

    June 18, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I will not lie i am a JP fan. I grew up listening to him call indoor soccer and champions league on ESPN. He is quality and i dont care what anyone says, To me he is the voice of American soccer. Rob Stone is enjoyable as well. The rest…meh.

  21. Mike

    June 18, 2018 at 10:46 am

    I couldn’t agree more. FOX has basically turned this into an NFL broadcast, complete with Dr. Joe filling in for Mike Pereira. Ridiculous. I really miss Ian Darke and Macca.

    • nosferatu

      June 18, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Hell, I was watching some of the Westminster Dog Show earlier this year and they were trying to turn that into an NFL broadcast even, having announcers who know nothing about dog shows announce things, including people like Shannon Sharpe in the coverage, so if they did that to a dog show, I’m definitely not surprised they did it to the World Cup. Seriously, know your audience, don’t be so pigheaded!

  22. Joe

    June 18, 2018 at 10:27 am

    i will never watch a game on Fox the commentators are terrible Lexi Lalas Was bad enough as a player who thought he was good,now he thinks he is a comedian and he’s failing at that as well. he has no business in front of camera talking about anything to do with the sport of soccer . next is Holden . this guy goes on and on and on as if he’s talking to a bunch of people who have never watch the sport before this is the World Cup man ! my wife came home from work a few months ago and thought something was wrong with the TV because I was watching the game with no sound ! lastly will talk about John Strong. Ohls he does is ask Holden questions that only someone who doesn’t know the sport would ask unless he’s raising his voice because of something he felt was exciting happened

  23. Nick P

    June 18, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Telemundo still providing great World Cup coverage.

  24. Brendan

    June 18, 2018 at 1:05 am

    Telemundo coverage has been fantastic I am writing this at 1 am on Monday morning as I have been watching the coverage since Saturday morning at 5 am . . I understand the language very well and u feel very much part of the debate about the World Cup and incidents in the games . Fox as expected are rubbish that awful Kate Abdo cannot even talk right mixes her sentences up and just laughs about it . Lalas is just a big clown wants to be the Ronaldo of TV . Warren Barton is the only good analyst on Fox what they do with him just relegate him to one game.

  25. Ingwe

    June 17, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    I say the following as an ex-pat Brit who was brought up on some of the best commentators that ever described the game — Peter Jones, Barry Davies, Brian Moore, John Motson, to name just three — and a style and vernacular that, for many, defines the game. This probably makes me an outsider in terms of Fox’s target audience but I feel that NBC Sports has done so well because they have opted for a more authentic English feel to their coverage of the Premier League.

    By the same token, in recent World Cups, ESPN’s coverage has been so good because they followed a similar template of preserving an international feel for their studio analysis while keeping a largely British commentary team in place.

    While the privilege of having all 68 games carried live in the US is not lost on me, the Fox Sports coverage is almost insufferable. Some of the commentators just talk too much, most of the “color commentators” offer little insight other than to describe what we all just saw with our own eyes, while a couple actually forced me to mute the TV and go in search of a BBC stream to preserve my sanity.

    The first, Jorge Perez-Novarro, was just comically bad; the second, Aly Wagner, was intolerable because, coming from the women’s game with it’s almost proprietary terminology, she speaks a different football language. It’s all constant references to “mids”, “re-service”, “on frame”, “in the seams”, “the six”, “winning the first and second,” and it drives me mad. Too often, she doesn’t even finish her sentences.

    Telemundo may offer enthusiasm but, not being a Spanish speaker, their analysis would be lost on me. And, to be honest, I find the whole “Goooooooooooooooool” thing a little immature. But I’m sure I’m in the minority on that one as well…

    • Max

      June 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      Absolutely agree with you regarding your thoughts on NBC and ESPN. We live in Scotland after many years in Boston, MA. We miss listening to Rebecca Lowe and her pundits. ESPN also has great coverage. We now have the pleasure of listening to the BBC and ITV broadcasts. It is an art here as you well know. They tell the story unfolding on the field and weave in the backstories and make it sound easy. Silence plays a part of the commentary as well. The one criticism I do have of the BBC and ITV coverage is when England is playing. The amount of propaganda that we hear at times makes us wonder what broadcast is being commented on. Recently, we watched England v Costa Rica on ITV and at one point England’s play was described as full of “flare and adventure”. I have to say that Rashford streaking down the left side doing his best to imitate Ronaldo does not deserve that level of praise. As for yelling the word “Goooaaaal,” there is only one person who in my opinion can do this authentically and that is Andres Cantor. That is a style that I have some difficulty with but I also have a great deal of respect for that genre. Here, we do not hear what sounds like an American hockey or football commentator shoe-horning cliches to the point where you want to turn the broadcast off, as we did when listening to the FOX commentators in the past. ESPN had similar commentators in 2006 but improved greatly and got great commentators four years later such as Martin Tyler and Ian Darke. FOX could have used the world feed, with Peter Drury, John Helm, Ian Darke, etc. It is time for FOX to get some training for play by play and colour commentators (with the exception of Derek Rae) and to stop trying to expand the viewership beyond soccer fans by calling the games as if they were hockey or American football games.

    • Mike

      June 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Aly Wagner announcing the England game. Will be watching on Telemundo.

      • A Sproken

        June 20, 2018 at 9:25 pm

        Aly Wagner has the most annoying voice for a commentator and just seems to want to say something to justify her salary and all she does is criticize. I turned the volume right down.

    • NL

      June 23, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Well, I don’t think I’m outsides Fox’s target audience and I agree with everything you say. The coverage is driving me crazy, but worst of the worst is Jorge Perez-Navarro. If I want to listen to a Spanish announcer going nuts anytime someone so much as looked at goal, I WOULD watch Telemundo. But as a (North) American, I’d like to be spoken to as such. It has nothing to do with where a person is from, nothing to do with their accent, but all to do with the presentation. I have watched almost all, of all of the games, but I’ve been merely fast-forwarding through any game with Perez-Navarro. Sometimes I’ll rewind and watch a goal scored, but I just cannot listen to him!

  26. die mythtruth

    June 17, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    rob stone, lalas, jp dellacamera are all pathetic. viva telemundo. if the telemundo hosts are making smirking jokes as if they’d rather be somewhere else commentating on a different sport, i can’t tell, being blissfully unable to understand spanish.

  27. Keyvan Antonio

    June 17, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    I have seen a couple of Russia 2018 games on both networks, but I am not in country now so I can’t judge on the development of the coverage. Telemundo has a high-profile mix of analysts – Forlán, Sorín, Cubillas and more – but the real star has been referee Horacio Elizondo, who comments on calls during all the games. He is clear, concise and authoritative. But Mexico is Telemundo’s home team, and it is not covering Spain as if it’s part of their audience mix. Cantor is a very knowledgeable and excellent passionate commentator, but he brought a traditional South American/Rio de la Plata style play-by-play to an American audience that was then uninformed. Fox is very English-centric;( for example: Ian Wright is often wrong but never in doubt). I like Hiddink and Lalas, but think it’s nonsensical to have the Mexico games called in English by Mexicans whose native language is not English. FULL FULL disclosure: I have covered World Cups since 1986, have done play-by-play and worked with many colleagues on both networks. Also, I am fluent in Spanish, English, Portuguese and other languages so I have heard the native match calls in different World Cups..

  28. nosferatu

    June 17, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Fox is really poor on so many levels. I pay a lot for the cable packages that allow me to watch these games in HD, but even as I’ve given Fox a chance, I’ve found myself more and more watching streams online from the BBC, ITV, and TSN (with the world feed, including announcers such as Ian Darke and Daniel Mann!), and it’s so much better even if the picture isn’t as clear as on my TV–the in-game commentary and analysis, the depth of halftime and post-game analysis (sometimes Fox has basically zero on this front), and the overall atmosphere gained from announcers being in-stadium, as is the case with Telemundo. It’s really a shame that Fox has lowered the standard so much from ESPN’s work with the World Cup and Euros, and I’m typically quite critical of ESPN.

  29. Rick

    June 17, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Fox is not showing highlights correctly after game and I agree the FOX announcers lack the emotion- seems like their tone is like their covering golf.
    Crowd noise is lacking on FOX.
    Telemundo is doing an excellent job and FOX needs to step up.

    • nosferatu

      June 17, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      What’s odd with the way many of these announcers call the game, John Strong included, is that they’ll meander away with lots of nonsensical drivel throughout the game (similar to the criticisms of Arlo White I’ve seen on here), and then when something happens they’ll SHOUT AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS. It’s really unbalanced and quite unpleasant to listen to. Watching broadcasts from other networks I get a significantly better feel for what is actually happening in the game as it’s playing out.

  30. Quang Huynh

    June 17, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    I am very loving watching this channel on sport .because picture is very clean and schedule is work with me.
    think you so much

  31. Quang Huynh

    June 17, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    I am very enjoy and loving watching world cup on Telemundo channel .because the quality of picture and the schedule is very convenient for me. good work.

    think you very much

  32. Pete Quinn

    June 17, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    I’m with you, Gaffer. I speak enough Spanish to know what’s going on when I tune into Telemundo (or beIN SPORTS en español when La Liga matches are on). As for Telemundo’s World Cup coverage, Andres Cantor is second to none. There’s genuine passion in the booth with all the commentators. And the games do seem louder on Telemundo. The crowd noise is magnified (you can even hear the other commentators from other countries in the background).

    I refuse to watch matches on Fox. They’ve had more than enough time to get it right and they just don’t understand how to present football matches.

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