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FOX hires Chad Johnson for World Cup Tonight wrap-up show

FOX Chad Johnson World Cup

FOX Sports have hired Chad Johnson, the former NFL wide receiver, as an analyst to appear on the broadcaster’s nightly World Cup Tonight wrap-up show this November and December. The show is more or less a talk show airing nightly throughout the tournament.

The goal of the show is to get the perspectives of soccer stars, personas and pundits on the World Cup. Notably, this will not solely be analysts debating tactics. Instead, expect more of a fun twist on coverage of the World Cup.

That is clearly evident in a talented and entertaining trio of names that are on FOX’s World Cup Tonight.

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World Cup Tonight crew

The three permanent names set to appear on the program are Kate Abdo, Maurice Edu and Chad Johnson. Fans of the Champions League coverage on Paramount+ are familiar with Kate Abdo. At CBS, she hosts the coverage alongside Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards. This is Abdo’s fourth FIFA World Cup as part of the FOX Sports family. Her previous installments came back in Russia 2018, then at a pair of Women’s World Cups in 2015 and 2019.

Joining Abdo is Maurice Edu, who is a regular for FOX regardless of the competition being covered. The former USMNT player provided studio analysis for FOX during the 2019 Women’s World Cup. In his playing days, Edu represented the United States at the 2010 World Cup, making three appearances in the side’s four games. Now a regular pundit for FOX Sports, he appears on coverage of international soccer as well as Major League Soccer.

The final main name for FOX’s World Cup Tonight is Chad Johnson, a former standout NFL wide receiver who is also a soccer aficionado. While Johnson, formerly known as Chad Ochocinco, is widely remembered for his time on the gridiron, he does have some experience in the world of soccer. Of course, it is not as extensive as someone like Maurice Edu or the other analysts expected to be on FOX’s World Cup team. In 2011, Johnson had a four-day trial with Sporting Kansas City. Plus, he took some extra points and kickoffs with the Cincinnati Bengals during his time in the NFL. After all, he did play competitive soccer growing up, according to FOX.

Special Guests

Throughout the tournament and broadcasts of World Cup Tonight, there will be guests to serve as a third analyst on the program. According to FOX, these surprise guests will not necessarily be famous names in the soccer world. Instead, they could just be notable names that have a passionate interest in the World Cup. Therefore, they provide some fan feel and relatability for those watching at home.

When the 2022 World Cup rolls around, FOX plans to air the program every night at midnight on FOX on each time zone in the United States. However, there are select instances where it is available on other channels at different times. For example, FOX plans to broadcast World Cup Tonight on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET on the holidays during the tournament. That includes Thanksgiving on Nov. 24 and Black Friday on Nov. 25. The latter is when the United States plays England in this country’s most anticipated matchup of the group stage. Finally, World Cup Tonight is also available at 7 p.m. ET on FS1 on Sunday, Dec. 18, following the World Cup Final.

For those that remember watching World Cup Tonight from World Cup 2018, the nightly show was a tough watch and a jumbled mess. Originally hosted by Fernando Fiore and starring a motley crew of characters, the 2022 edition can’t be any worse than 2018, so chances are that at least it’ll be watchable this time.

Additional reporting by Christopher Harris

Photo credit: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Jesus

    September 13, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    I think people are overreacting as if Chad Johnson is going to be doing play-by-play analysis or be a part of a pre- or post-game show. The show is meant to be a talk show about the lighter side of the sport, not tactical analysis. Given what the show is to be about it makes sense to have personalities that can draw an audience. It’s not as if Chad knows nothing about soccer either.

  2. Eric T

    September 11, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    Fox once again proving how incompetent they are

  3. pdxfan

    September 11, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    I cannot believe this. Haven’t they learned from TNT’s failure to make an NBA star a soccer analyst? Or is it that they think US viewers are not smart enough to pay attention to the type of analysis offered by actual former soccer players/stars?

    • MarkB

      September 11, 2022 at 7:21 pm

      Unfortunately, I think fox has corralled the market on stupid decisions to pander to the uninformed hipsters that just discovered that the World Cup is an actual thing. It’s very difficult to take seriously any network that employs the likes of Rob Stone or Lalas!

  4. locofooty

    September 9, 2022 at 9:30 am

    Watch FOX add Fernando Fiore and the clown show will be complete.

  5. Mercator

    September 8, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    You guys need to give Ocho Cinco a chance, he is legitimately a huge soccer fan. Every weekend he is tweeting and watching games from Europe, he clearly knows the players and the fundamentals of the game. He isn’t Gus Johnson 2.0. My only issue with him is that he is a huge Son fan and is always cheering for Spurs.

    • Kate

      September 9, 2022 at 7:20 am

      I’m a huge soccer fan. Hire me!

    • Tony

      September 9, 2022 at 11:29 am

      There are many 2 year olds that are fans also …………..Why not give them a chance ?

    • MarkB

      September 9, 2022 at 11:53 am

      I’m pretty sure roughly 99% of the people watching know the players and considerably more than the fundamentals of the game. So what exactly does he add?

      • Mercator

        September 9, 2022 at 5:01 pm

        He is a huge NFL star, he will be more known than anyone involved in US soccer Fox can pick. World Cups are mostly casual viewers, its a huge event and Fox wants a big household sports name, and Ocho Cinco delivers that while actually knowing, understanding and enjoying the game. Normal people are going to tune in wondering where Thanksgiving NFL game is at, and will tune out if they see Alexi Lalas. They may not if they see Ocho Cinco and stick around to hear what he is saying.

        • dave

          September 9, 2022 at 6:07 pm

          As well, the article notes “FOX plans to air the program every night at midnight on FOX on each time zone in the United States”
          .
          With live World Cup games early the next morning, I doubt many serious soccer fans will rearrange their schedules specifically to watch this show. Instead, as you note, it is probably intended as lighthearted content that might attract a bit of potential expansion audience. Maybe a few viral moments even trend on YT. If Ochocinco has crossover appeal and can also talk credibly about soccer, all the better for FOX

        • Lou

          September 9, 2022 at 9:30 pm

          Exactly. Ocho knows his soccer and follows the global game closely. This is a smart move by Fox, and as the article noted it’s not intended to be a hard core tactics session, but a general discussion of the days events. After all, Pro Sports is an entertainment business too.

    • MarkB

      September 11, 2022 at 7:23 pm

      Sorry, but I don’t NEED to give “Ocho Cinco” the sweat off of my backside.

  6. Tony

    September 8, 2022 at 11:34 am

    Fox never surprises me any more when it comes to football (soccer) They just have no clue……………Thank heavens for Telemundo

  7. Michal

    September 8, 2022 at 9:59 am

    The World Cup is one of the most important things in my entire life, and fox is turning it into a joke, absolutely ridiculous.

    • MarkB

      September 8, 2022 at 10:38 am

      Fox turns everything soccer related into a joke (think Gus Johnson attempting to do play by play in the Champions League and failing miserably or Rob Stone screaming: The AMERICAN!!! and then sitting back with that smug smile on his mug like he’s so freaking clever or anything that Lalas says.)

  8. Ivan

    September 8, 2022 at 6:29 am

    I need to brush up on my Spanish…Telemundo it is.

    The clowns at Fox are determined to put another cringe worthy coverage of a major tournament. No, thank you!

  9. Rick

    September 8, 2022 at 4:31 am

    Makes zero sense – I’ll skip this show since it will offer no credibility to watch an ex nfl player discuss the World Cup.

    Just watch the games and skip all the pre and post game on Fox- viewers will be better off.

  10. Daniel

    September 8, 2022 at 2:46 am

    This smacks of how FOX just doesn’t get it. TNT tried to do the same thing with its UCL coverage and it flopped hard. If there was anyway to watch the BBC coverage in the US I would jump at it. Maybe with a VPN?

    • SteveK

      September 8, 2022 at 6:41 am

      Daniel, it has been mentioned in other threads, yes, it’s fairly easy to watch the BBC from the US with a VPN, iTV and Channel 4/All 4 as well. There are little tricks, like setting your computer to UK time, and certain browsers work better with certain services, but I started watching the BBC with a VPN back in 2012 for the London Olympics because I wanted to see events live and have had no trouble since.

    • locofooty

      September 9, 2022 at 9:37 am

      It works. Weirdly for me, it works on the iPlayer on AndroidTV, but not on chrome. Same for ITV on chrome. Will have to try changing the time as Steve says.

  11. MarkB

    September 7, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    Gus Johnson 2.0

  12. Don

    September 7, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    It can’t be worse… We shall see.
    I don’t know what is better for drawing people to a sports show. Be it highlights with some chatter between the highlights. Or a talk show style with little actual substance.

    I have this guy feeling that we will have a program that is a one upper show. Meaning the hosts will see who can make the most outlandish statement that will trend the next day.

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