When it comes to soccer, very few languages capture the raw emotion of the sport as well as the Spanish language. Combine that with the Summer Olympics, and you can watch those unforgettable moments that may live in our memories forever. Could we see the U.S. Women’s National Team win another Gold Medal for a record fifth time? And in men’s soccer, will it be Mexico, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany or a dark horse that’ll win gold in a very competitive tournament?
With parent company NBCUniversal having the rights to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, our choices to watch the games span across the networks of NBC Sports (for English-language coverage) and Telemundo Deportes (in Spanish-language). NBC Sports has already announced a lineup of talent that will be familiar to viewers of their Premier League coverage. At the same time, Telemundo Deportes are embarking on a major endeavor with their plans, not only to take advantage of Mexico’s popularity (and big expectations for their path through the competition) but also to appeal to a wider soccer (and sports) audience.
President of Telemundo Deportes Ray Warren sat down with World Soccer Talk recently for an exclusive interview to share more details about the network’s ambitious plans to bring the Tokyo 2020 soccer games into our homes.
In previous Olympics, NBC Sports had more of an influence on what was covered on Telemundo’s Spanish-language broadcasts, explained Warren. “And that wasn’t always the most authentic and favored sports that our Hispanic audience would prefer to watch.
“[For Tokyo 2020 coverage], I’m hoping that we’re turning it into almost two different experiences.
“There will be an English-language feed available for anybody who wants to watch swimming, gymnastics, track-and-field and everything else, and there will be a Spanish-language feed from Telemundo, Universo and all of our platforms that will show a lot of soccer, more boxing, more basketball, baseball and beach volleyball.”
NBC Sports will, of course, have soccer games, in English — even some that will leverage the talent and resources from Telemundo Deportes. Renowned soccer commentator Andrés Cantor will call select games in English-language for NBC Sports, as well as separate games in Spanish-language for Telemundo.
As a sign of how ambitious Telemundo Deportes’ coverage is, Cantor (and co-commentator Manuel Sol) will be on-site in Japan to call the games.
While Cantor, Sol and Telemundo Deportes’ staff in Japan will follow strict health protocols to ensure everyone’s wellness and safety, there are bigger concerns — namely whether the world’s biggest sporting competition will take place. We asked Warren how likely it is that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will happen.
“I’m close to being a hundred percent.
“My biggest concern, going in, was athletes because the games are really only about the athletes. I think if the athletes are going, we’re going.”
Telemundo Deportes will present the most extensive Spanish-language coverage ever with over 300 hours of Olympic content beginning with the kickoff of the soccer competitions on Wednesday, July 21.
In addition to Cantor and Sol, legendary Mexican goal scorer Carlos Hermosillo and renowned commentators Copan Alvarez, Sammy Sadovnik and Eduardo Biscayart will also be part of the team calling and analyzing the soccer action.
Emmy Award-nominee Ana Jurka and Emmy-award winner Miguel Gurwitz will host Telemundo Network’s live coverage from Tokyo throughout the Olympic Games, bringing the latest from the host city and anchoring the network’s live coverage every evening throughout the duration of the Games. Tokyo will be Jurka’s second Olympic Games with Telemundo; she has also served as co-host of the FIFA Men’s World Cup from Russia in 2018 and led the Women’s FIFA World Cup from Paris in 2019. Gurwitz has covered Summer Olympics since 2000 and served as the lead studio host for Telemundo Deportes’ coverage of the Rio Olympics in 2016 & the FIFA Men’s World Cup from Russia in 2018.
To find out when soccer games are on, download the free Soccer TV Schedules App which includes listings of all of the live soccer matches available in the United States (available on Apple iOS devices and Android devices).
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