Telemundo initial plans for World Cup coverage
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.
.@Telemundo inicia la cuenta regresiva de un año para la Copa Mundial de la FIFA Qatar 2022. @TelemundoSports #FIFA2022@Telemundo kicks off its one-year countdown to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Unveiling preliminary coverage plans. pic.twitter.com/no5idoFqlk
— NBCU Telemundo Public Relations (@TLMDPR) November 17, 2021
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.