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Telemundo initial plans for World Cup coverage

Telemundo initial plans for World Cup

Telemundo initial plans for World Cup 2022 include broadcasting the majority of games on network television and having announcers at every game. These were some of the details shared during a conference call this week with US soccer reporters.

Given that the tournament is just over 365 days away, the suspense is starting to build. Combine that with the tense World Cup qualifiers, it is time for soccer fans to start dreaming about the tournament.

Telemundo’s headline announcement is that it will broadcast 56 games live on Telemundo. Only the eight concurrent Group Stage finale games will air on Universo. In total, the 64 games will be live in Spanish on television and streaming.

Telemundo Deportes President Ray Warren made a point of mentioning Telemundo will have more games on broadcast TV than FOX.

When it comes down to Telemundo’s coverage, the broadcaster has raised the bar. Telemundo Deportes will have broadcasters on site at every game in Qatar. There will be more pre-game, halftime, and post-match coverage from onsite studios as well as all positions across the city of Doha. In addition, Telemundo will add more dedicated crews with a special emphasis on the most relevant teams for the U.S. Hispanic audience.

Breakfast with Telemundo’s World Cup talent

Andrés Cantor will return as chief commentator marking his 12th World Cup and his 10th as play-by-play announcer. Coverage will be anchored by Miguel Gurwitz, Ana Jurka, Carlos Hermosillo, and Carlota Vizmanos.

Faced with the prospect of less than favorable kickoff times for games, Telemundo is optimistic. For instance, many of the Group Stage games will kick off (Eastern Time) at 5AM, 8AM, 11AM and 2PM. However, Warren predicts Telemundo will have more viewers for World Cup 2022 compared to 2018.

A lot of that will depend on the United States and Mexico qualifying for the competition.

Leveraging the NBCUniversal family

Leveraging the scale of its parent company, Telemundo Deportes will be working closely with NBCUniversal to promote the games. For example, on Thanksgiving 2022, Telemundo will air four live matches from Qatar. Those games will lead into the primetime NFL football game that night.

“The marketplace for Hispanic audiences is very strong, and the allure of FIFA World Cup is akin to combining a Super Bowl and Olympics,” said Dan Lovinger, EVP, Advertising & Partnerships, NBC Sports Group. “Sports in general, and the FIFA World Cup especially, have the rare ability to deliver massive scale across all platforms. Consequently, we’re seeing marketers excited to get on board earlier than they normally would, and we are pacing well ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup one year out.”

Despite these only being Telemundo initial plans for World Cup coverage, the broadcaster has already ahead of the curve. Given the success of Telemundo’s coverage of 2018 World Cup, the 2022 edition should be even bigger and better.

Telemundo’s only competitor: FOX Sports

As we saw with World Cup 2018, Telemundo has a lot to offer English-language viewers. The production quality and quantity of coverage easily surpasses FOX Sports. Accordingly, the commitment to having commentators in-stadium for every game shows that it understands the soccer audience better. Subsequently, even for viewers who don’t understand Spanish, watching the World Cup on Telemundo is a more exciting and passionate experience. It feels more authentic.

Thus far, FOX Sports have been silent on their plans for World Cup 2022. A lot of it depends on making sure the United States qualifies for the competition. Ultimately, that will give us an indication of their level of commitment to covering the world’s best sporting event.

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  1. locofooty

    December 7, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    For WC 2018, since the national channel was (and still is!) SD and the local affiliate’s signal strength was weak, I had to use the streaming app. Instead of having a continuous stream of the Telemundo channel, I remember having to annoyingly change streams as the “event has concluded” message would come up. It’s still like that to this day for matches on both NBC/Telemundo apps. Come on, do better.

  2. Ra

    December 7, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    My Telemundo image quality is crap. My local Telemundo affiliate is one of the 31 that broadcasts in 480i. In 2021, seriously? I am getting all other major stations but PBS in NextGenTV (ATSC 3.0)…

  3. Frylocito

    November 25, 2021 at 2:22 am

    As Long as they put Diego pessolano and Walter Roque on the commentary Booth. Im on board with Telemundo.

  4. SuwonWCStadium

    November 20, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Does Fútbol de Primera (Radio) have the rights to the 2026 FIFA World Cup? I know they have them for 2022, but I don’t know beyond that.

  5. dave

    November 19, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    @locofooty, thank you for the details. I watch Telemundo OTA and it comes through clear in 1080i on my digital antenna. My cable also includes it in both SD and HD, similar to other major local channels. How frustrating and bizarre that they downscale other than when needed by a local affiliate.
    I appreciate the information on Telemundo Deportes app. It accepted my credentials and the tab on my NBC Sports app is active. I look forward to catching a few more CONCACAF qualifiers in Spanish. I do not pay for Universo, so I suspect it may be sometimes access, sometimes declined. All upside for me, since I did not realize it existed prior to your message. Thank you.

  6. locofooty

    November 19, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    dave, the national HD signal we are referring to is on their national channel. It’s up to the local affiliates to provide an HD signal. Problem is reception in some areas if the channel is a low power station, and I think there is a law that TV providers are not required to have low power stations as a part of local channel lineups. For example, DirecTV in Atlanta does not offer Telemundo’s local affiliate. Telemundo’s national channel (usually found in spanish or combined packages) is simply not shown in HD. It doesn’t exist. Could be upscaled on some streaming services or it’s really the local affiliate channel that you’re watching. Hope that changes for Qatar 2022 as it’s inconvenient having to go to their streaming app, authenticating and getting that delay in transmission knowing the regular channel is showing the same thing, but in SD quality.

    As far as the CONCACAF qualifiers, WST should’ve specified they were on the Telemundo Deportes app. You can watch the matches with authentication for Telemundo/Universo. The NBC Sports app has the streams for EPL on Telemundo/Universo available, always through authentication of course. Makes it easier to have it all in one app. I don’t know if they had the WCQ streams available as well.

  7. dave

    November 18, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    I agree with @Ricjk that this is good news.
    In the WST schedule, I have seen some CONCACAF qualifiers listed as being on Telemundo even when the affiliate is broadcasting another game. As an example, the two qualifiers on Tuesday that started an hour or so before Canada-Mexico.
    Do Telemundo have anything like TUDN or Prende where you can access their content even when the main OTA channel is showing something else? Or is that Universo in their case?

  8. dave

    November 18, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    I believe the Telemundo main feed (in the US) is 1080i, and they downscale when needed by a local affiliate. If you are using a digital antenna and not getting Telemundo 1080i, your local affiliate should know why and whether there is a plan to upgrade.
    A strong majority of the largest Spanish-speaking markets in the US have a Telemundo owned and operated channel. No idea who decides whether to downscale for streaming in markets where there is no Telemundo OTA. Money is probably involved.

  9. Ricjk

    November 18, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Good option – Telemundo always is a good option for the World Cup games.


  10. locofooty

    November 18, 2021 at 11:56 am

    It’s really amazing having Comcrapstic behind it all. Or maybe not if you look at it from an incompetence pov. I’m sure I’m missing some archaic local laws and regulations. It would be embarrassing that yet another major tourney doesn’t have a national HD signal.

    • Christopher Harris

      November 18, 2021 at 12:04 pm

      For the last World Cup, Telemundo said that virtually all of the local Telemundo stations nationwide will broadcast in HD (representing 99% of their broadcast coverage). I would expect it to be the same for World Cup 2022.

  11. UnitedFan 3478

    November 18, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Any update on the EPL TV Rights? I still really want ESPN to win the rights. I do not like NBC.

  12. locofooty

    November 18, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Ask them about their national HD signal. Probably their only negative, but a big negative.

    • Christopher Harris

      November 18, 2021 at 11:45 am

      Every time I meet with them, I always ask them that. They do have games in HD via streaming as an option for those markets where a HD TV signal may not be available.

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