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Wales-Ukraine on TV: World Cup Playoff coverage details

Wales-Ukraine on TV

The much-anticipated Wales-Ukraine World Cup playoff is on TV this Sunday, June 5. The game comes after Ukraine defeated Scotland in a playoff on Wednesday by a score of 3-1. Now, the winner of this game punches its ticket to the World Cup in Qatar in November.

Wales-Ukraine on TV: How to watch

Kickoff time: Noon ET / 9 a.m. PT – Sunday, June 5
Watch now (in USA): Live on ESPN, ESPN+, TUDN and fuboTV (in English-language)
Commentators: Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman
US TV: Match is on ESPN, ESPN+ and TUDN

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Wales-Ukraine live

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This is the last game under the contract between UEFA and ESPN to air soccer games. Moving forward, virtually all European international soccer is on the FOX family of networks. This includes things like the UEFA Nations League, UEFA World Cup Qualifying, and, of course, the European Championships. FOX acquired those rights back in late 2021.

The Wales-Ukraine game is on TV via ESPN, but you can also stream it using ESPN+ or a variety of streaming options. fuboTV is just one example, but ESPN is also available on DirecTV StreamSling OrangeVidgo and Hulu + Live TV.

Game coverage

As stated previously, Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman will call the game. There is also studio coverage from ESPN hosted by Kay Murray. Alejandro Moreno and Danny Higginbotham.

Unfortunately, this game is being called from the studio in Bristol, CT. However, the passion from Cardiff City’s Stadium from both Wales supporters and Ukraine supporters should be dramatic.

World Cup Bid

Whichever side wins this game will be the last UEFA side to qualify for the World Cup. The Russian invasion of Ukraine postponed this playoff, which UEFA scheduled for March 24 and March 29. That was just a month after Russia invaded.

Wales defeated Austria back on March 24. Gareth Bale scored a pair of goals to put Wales on the verge of qualifying for its first World Cup since 1958. That year, Wales reached the quarterfinals, only to lost to Brazil, 1-0. The scorer of that goal was Pelé, who went on to score three goals in the semifinal and two more in the Final.

Ukraine carries the hopes of its entire nation. At the World Cup, Ukraine last appeared in 2006. In a similar fashion to Wales, this is Ukraine’s only appearance as a sovereign nation. Moreover, the Ukrainians reached the quarterfinals that year, losing to the eventual winners, Italy, 3-0.

The winner of this game gets put into Group B at the World Cup. FIFA’s World Cup draw took place with Wales/Ukraine/Scotland grouped as one team with their playoff still in the waiting. The other teams in Group B are England, the United States of America and Iran.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. SteveK

    June 6, 2022 at 8:16 am

    “Hate commentary on big games (all games) being done in a studio especially from 4000 miles away. To make it worse there is Twellman…”

    Agreed Tony, while I always appreciate Jon Champion there’s no substitute for having talent on-air in the grounds or at least reporters on-site. It speaks to a larger level of commitment. Watching Wales I also realized that his may be the last game I ever watch on ESPN+ because soccer-wise there’s no there there: ESPN no longer has anything at the highest levels of the club or country game, no Premier League, no Nations League, no Euros, no World Cup and no Europa or Champions League.

    It wasn’t that long ago that this site touted the following:

    “ESPN+ is crushing the competition”

    “ESPN+ dominates the soccer media landscape in the US and frankly it is not really up for discussion”

    “ESPN+ dominates soccer in 2021”

    Now that it is 2022 perhaps it is time to reassess what good a nice app and a pretty picture is when the best you’ve got is La Liga?

    • MarkB

      June 6, 2022 at 9:47 am

      So, ESPN “No longer has anything at the highest levels of club or country games”? Apparently FIFA disagrees with your expert assessment since La Liga is #2 and Bundesliga is #3 in their coefficients. But never mind that. Oh, and they also don’t have the grand Nations League. You mean the tournament that more than a few top players from your “elite” teams have said thay aren’t really that bothered about because they need a rest, rather than playing in some glorified friendlies so that UEFA can rake in some more cash. Makes a nice narrative though.

    • JP

      June 6, 2022 at 10:20 am

      As @MarkB says, laughable you include Nations League as a high level competition.

      I’m not a fan of everything ESPN+ includes, but no denying there is a lot mor than just a pretty picture and La Liga. Soccer wise,tThey have all the top leagues except EPL and Serie A, plus some fun smaller leagues like Eredivisie and Belgian Pro League, English Championship. Even when they had WC and Euros that was mainly an ESPN property and not ESPN+ except for the semis/final for Euro.

      Tons of other sports too, namely NHL! Much to my surprise, they are simulcasting the Eastern Conference finals on ESPN+ and ESPN. For the finals that was expected since on ABC (those events always on ESPN3 anyway). If I knew before might not have bought another month of Sling, which is still needed for TNT and the West finals…but that might be over after tonight unfortunately. Maybe next season ESPN+ will simulcast the 1st two rounds of the playoffs ESPN is carrying too. We can dream.

      • SteveK

        June 6, 2022 at 10:59 am

        Maybe you haven’t watched much Nations League but it is not like these teams are trotting out their B teams, even if they remain glorified friendlies there still is a purpose and the best players are still playing, albeit with a little grumbling and in this first round of games they look a little tired. The reason many of the best players are still there is because national team coaches see the Nations League as their last chances to coach up and prepare their national teams for the World Cup. The narrative, if there is one, is that ESPN is no longer as significant as it may have been perceived because they have let rights to the best competitions go elsewhere, in most cases these are rights that they’ve previously held. Tout minor leagues if you want, I’m all for increased exposure and the charms of lower level competitions, talk of coefficients for the La Liga and the Bundesliga, none of that changes what I realized at the conclusion of the Wales match that for myself, what value soccer-wise can ESPN claim to retain now that the Premier League, the Europa and Champions League, the Euros, World Cup and their qualifiers are all elsewhere?

        • JP

          June 6, 2022 at 11:44 am

          ESPN hasn’t had any UCL or EL since 2018 and even before then was only a handful of overflow matches mostly on ESPN3. ESPN hasn’t had any EPL since 2013. ESPN hasn’t had any WC since 2014. So by your premise, losing Nations League and Euros has suddenly made them irrelevant. Are you saying Fox and Univision hold the most value because they hold the majority of the National team competitions…or CBS because they hold UCL/EL, or NBC because they hold EPL?

          To say ESPN+ with La Liga, Bundesliga, Championship, MLS, and more holds no value is absurd.

          • SteveK

            June 6, 2022 at 12:22 pm

            It holds some value, JP, if what you value is less than the best level of club or country soccer. Your breakdown nicely proves my point that instead of retaining or re-acquiring elite level soccer that they’ve had in the past they’ve strengthened their competitors–CBS, TUDN, FOX are all on much stronger footing as a result and are primed to make headway in what you might call soccer media mindshare. I’ve subscribed to ESPN+ since day one, when my annual sub expires in a month I won’t be renewing. It may hold value for some but that’s only after you’ve already committed to Comcast/Peacock, CBS/Paramount+ and ViX/ViX+ or whatever FOX rolls out for the World Cup and Euros.

            • Ra

              June 6, 2022 at 12:32 pm

              Based on your comment, you are one of these guys that buy the jersey of the club of the moment. It demonstrates also a lack of understanding of soccer and its history.
              The ‘best soccer’ is very fluid – it changes constantly.
              Above all, soccer is a product of the culture where it is inserted. Different countries play different styles of soccer.
              Many argue that EPL is the best soccer. It is not for my taste; I find it too robotic. I enjoy more Bundesliga (very attack-oriented), and South American soccer, where form and style is more appreciated than efficiency.
              I love WC in general, but I have mixed feelings about a WC in Qatar broadcasted by Fox.

            • JP

              June 6, 2022 at 12:50 pm

              Everyone has different taste and will make value judgments accordingly. While you may not care for the current ESPN+ soccer properties, to make a blanket statement that it holds no/minimal value is your subjective view.
              I value Serie A highest and can say they hold so much value, including UCL/EL too.
              Will steal your line and say “now that it is 2022 perhaps it is time to reassess what good a nice app and a pretty picture is when the best you’ve got is EPL?” about Peacock. But won’t because while I many not religiously follow EPL know others do so it has value even if not for me. You’re just writing off ESPN+ because you don’t care for La Liga, but millions of others do.

              • MarkB

                June 6, 2022 at 2:25 pm

                Seems he’s just a fanboy trying to make some point with some whataboutery. All credibility went out the window with his opinion that La Liga and Bundesliga were not “at the highest levels” as he put it. Here’s a tip: Don’t like it, don’t watch it. I rather doubt ESPN is holding a gun to his head and demanding $6.99/mo.

              • SteveK

                June 6, 2022 at 3:25 pm

                “Will steal your line and say “now that it is 2022 perhaps it is time to reassess what good a nice app and a pretty picture is when the best you’ve got is EPL?” about Peacock”

                Very good point JP, but that just opens the door for me to mention that Peacock ALSO has the World Cup (granted in Spanish) so they’ve added the most significant global soccer property to what already is the most significant soccer league property for almost everyone except Ra. Yes soccer may be very fluid and change constantly, one can like La Liga and another Serie A best, but the World Cup followed by the Euros remain the most significant for most, I suspect. The larger ESPN-related point is NBC/Peacock wasn’t standing still, they saw an opportunity to snag something important for their nascent streaming platform and grabbed it. Now, if you don’t feel like jumping through all the FOX and Fubo hoops for the dulcet tones of Alexi Lalas come November well Peacock is your new best friend, Peacock is giving you another reason to hop on board.

                I’m glad you mentioned Serie A as well, JP, yet another good soccer property that ESPN failed to retain strengthening CBS/Paramount+ in the process…I’m not alone in observing that CBS is doing great things with the Champions League, it’s also clear to me that TUDN and ViX are on the front foot, sure FOX and Fubo may be in the process of screwing up the World Cup for streaming fans but thanks to Peacock there are inexpensive and legal viewing alternatives…while all this has been going on how exactly has ESPN been moving their soccer mindshare forward? Certainly not by showcasing their crown jewel on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 or by adding other significant properties. Can’t help but escape the feeling they are treading water soccer-wise and will come to regret some past decisions.

    • dave

      June 6, 2022 at 2:23 pm

      @SteveK, it is interesting how the value of each streaming service to each user ebbs and flows. I am accustomed to traditional US sports where rights deals are often for a decade. Different world with soccer as rights seem to change hands frequently
      .
      I believe you and several others predicted streaming soccer could become costly like cable. I have been in a good place with Peacock, Paramount+, and ESPN+. Seems I will soon need to add subscriptions to ViX+, whatever Warner uses for USWNT/USMNT, maybe Amazon, maybe Apple, maybe ATA/DAZN, etc. And I still need English and Spanish bundles for other interests

      • SteveK

        June 6, 2022 at 3:17 pm

        Yes Dave, many here felt that the rise of competing streaming platforms would actually cause watching elite level soccer to become more expensive than what we charmingly once called a cable subscription! Good apps and innovations prompt others to follow. Let’s hope for some consolidation down the road. I think what most irked a small but very vocal contingent here is that the transition to that mythical all streaming world wasn’t happening fast enough, to stay legal you still have to retain some cable access. ESPN+ has probably come the closest but as I mentioned elsewhere, it no longer has any of the most significant global soccer properties. What will be really interesting to chart is how many native English speaking soccer fans eschew the more expensive streaming services and instead access TUDN/ViX/ViX+ and Peacock for Spanish language soccer coverage.

        • dave

          June 6, 2022 at 4:04 pm

          @SteveK, how do you watch Peacock in Spanish? I think I have only used the Telemundo app for that, but I do not pay for Universo so it does not always allow me access. No big deal, I usually prefer English for EPL, but very curious for November. Are Spanish soccer feeds where NBC has the Spanish rights included in my Peacock subscription? Is there a setting change to get content in Spanish (e.g., ESPN+ often offers a choice of two feeds to click, one English and one Spanish)?

          • SteveK

            June 6, 2022 at 5:16 pm

            dave, I think this all comes about because Telemundo is actually owned by Comcast. I remember reading in the past year that one of the improvements to Peacock for next year will be much more Hispanic content and part of that push will be live matches on Peacock—so group stages, knock-out matches, even the final, all live and in Spanish. I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a too-good-to-be-true-ESPN+-Euros debacle, but at least from what I’ve read we are supposed to get the whole thing in Spanish live on Peacock.

        • JP

          June 6, 2022 at 4:14 pm

          @SteveK, I am one who will watch matches in Spanish if it’s cheaper and more convenient, even though don’t speak it. Was doing this for UCL/EL for the most part since 2018 and only began to watch on Paramount+ this year because already had it for Serie A. Have the France/Croatia Nations League match on ViX right now…plan to use ViX for Euro 2024 over Fox and will subscribe to Peacock or just watch what’s on Telemundo for WC matches that aren’t on OTA Fox.

          • SteveK

            June 6, 2022 at 4:59 pm

            I think A LOT of us non-Spanish speakers will be doing exactly as you JP especially as soccer streaming becomes even more stratified. I just finished up with Croatia’s A team and France’s B team on ViX, too, about at the level of an illegal internet stream video-wise but certainly will improve and just switched to Denmark Austria because Denmark’s A team of Ericksen, Hojberg, Schmeichel et al are playing . Years ago I watched all my Champions and Europa League in Spanish on Fubo because they had all the games plus all the extra Spanish sports channels plus the Premier League all for a reasonable monthly rate. (Now Fubo is ridiculous and I don’t think they’ll even be around for more than another year.)

            dave, I have not yet watched anything on Peacock in Spanish, yes I’m referring to the World Cup which supposedly will be streamed on Peacock in Spanish, FOX will stream on their sports app in English at least according to the press releases I’ve read.

        • Mercator

          June 6, 2022 at 5:19 pm

          Paramount+ is the closest to what we all want, all games on streaming with some simulcast on TV. CBS does a great job with this, they have a fantastic studio team, they are setting broadcast records for the UCL. I’m happy to pay and regularly talk up how great they are, I’ve convinced at least one person to subscribe for UCL (small but I’m doing my part to build the game). ESPN+ is very good also but they still have a few cable exclusive items it seems. Everything else is watched via VPN or IPTV. Nothing is unavailable, nothing is blacked out, nothing is exclusive and the price is very reasonable. This is the way of the future.

  2. Brian mcmaster

    June 5, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    I’m calling it now: FIFA will extend pity WC bid to Ukraine. These blokes play as if it is just as important as physically defending your country. Sure it’s a morale boost but that rationale is delusional. And I saw a lot of 18-25 year old men in the Ukraine section of the stands. Assuming these are refugees… WTF??

    • MarkB

      June 5, 2022 at 4:44 pm

      Don’t see your helmet and rifle.WTF?

  3. Tony

    June 5, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Hate commentary on big games (all games) being done in a studio especially from 4000 miles away. To make it worse there is Twellman …………………. Captain Obvious some say I just say bloody irritating …………

    • Yespage

      June 6, 2022 at 9:44 am

      I have no idea why it is so annoying, but indeed, listening to broadcasters who are calling the game like I am watching the game, thousands of miles away, is extremely irritating. They could have Al Michaels and Keith Jackson doing the call, and it’d still be annoying to hear it.

  4. SteveK

    June 5, 2022 at 11:43 am

    Nice to see Danny Higginbotham get some ESPN studio work but does that mean he’s not renewing his contract with Comcast?

    And what genius thinks Ale Moreno is the best choice for this game?

    • MarkB

      June 5, 2022 at 1:03 pm

      Or any game? I can’t stand his smartass attitude when he thinks he’s being funny or clever.

    • Christopher Harris

      June 5, 2022 at 2:16 pm

      Danny is a freelancer, so he continues to work for NBC Sports and ESPN. And I’m sure if other opportunities come along, he may work for other broadcasters too.

  5. MarkB

    June 5, 2022 at 8:48 am

    Serious question here. What if Ukraine win, and the unthinkable happens in that Russia’s war of aggression succeeds in eliminating Ukraine as a sovereign nation? How would FIFA handle such a situation?

    • MarkB

      June 5, 2022 at 8:49 am

      What if Ukraine win today’s match is what I meant to say.

  6. Jimmy

    June 3, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    Per Steven Goff of the Washington Post, “World Cup playoff Sunday between Wales and Ukraine moves to ESPN from ESPN2. Kickoff at noon ET. Also on ESPN+.”

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