FIFA World Cup

FOX wins bid for 2018, 2022 World Cup TV rights


When the 2018 and 2022 World Cups kick off in Russia and Qatar, there is a very good chance that you'll be watching those tournaments on a FOX network.

FOX beat out both ESPN and NBC for the U.S. broadcast rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, multiple reports revealed on Friday morning. The news came as a surprise for many who expected ESPN to win the bids.

On the Spanish-language side, NBC-owned Telemundo beat out favorites Univision for the Spanish-Language rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Fuegofan

    Double blow. Fox is terrible and terribly limited with only two stations, one of which I don’t get. Plus, I don’t like their politics. Telemundo suffers from only having one channel. At least Univision also has Telefutura and Galavision (the latter of which I don’t get). Will Andres Cantor still be at Telemundo, or retired by then? If this is the shakeout, then the World Cup of 2022, which already shouldn’t be held where it’s being held, will lose even more weight over here.


  • Apps 55753818692 100000088233919 De861bb5c41e8473cea4135241a173ff

    As for announcers, Fox is likely to transplant Sky Sports announcers from the UK as a Newscorp company. In fact, Fox has used the Sky feed for their Champions League games on Fox and Fox Soccer so far. In the UK, Sky Sports isn’t actually allowed to broadcast the World Cup Finals as it must be broadcast on free-to-air television – BBC and ITV have shared WC rights since 1966


  • Taylor

    in all seriousness though, i remember seeing something about Japan developing technology where a game can be displayed live in a hologram on a field in a stadium and fans thousands of miles away can basically watch the game in a stadium like they were there

    it was probably a bunch of mumbo jumbo just to try and win the 2022 world cup, but if that exists soon, that would be awesome


  • Edwin in LA

    You guys are forgetting that Fox has a ton of local sports networks and affiliates that they can sublease (if that’s even the right term) the rights to individual games to like they do now with the Champions League being shown on Comcast Sports Networks for certain markets where maybe they don’t have a Fox Sports local channel.

    And I’m pretty sure you all have FX, which is what Fox had used for the Semis of last year’s UCL. Everyone with Cable has at least the national over the air Fox where House and Simpsons are on, they have FX and they have the their local Fox Sports channel PLUS you may have Fox Sports Channel, that’s 4 or at least 3 channels to show the games on, and like someone said earlier, they have about 7 years to get this right lets relax a bit


  • Wm.

    I’m happy to be a fan in 2011 rather than 1991. When I started watching in the early Nineties, there were few choices. So many big games (qualifiers, friendlies) were chopped up or just not shown, as recently as 1998/1999.

    I feel like I am in soccer paradise now with FOX, ESPN, ESPN2, Gol!, Univision, etc. Continental tournaments, domestic cup games, Bundesliga, Serie A, EPL, MLS, A League, et al.


  • brian

    this is misery. fox like ives suck and are amateurs…i guess fox is starting to send some live correspondents, but not many. maybe hd will come to most markets by 2010. what a joke. oh an ives learn how to use a comma.


  • Edwin in LA

    You do realize that Fox has just as many if not more TV stations as ESPN/ABC right?

    ESPN has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News & to a certain extent ESPN U, not counting Classic as it doesn’t show HD at least not the majority of time from what I see… and ABC

    That’s 5 networks and 6 at best, only really need 3 and that’s pushing it.

    Fox has the regular Fox channel which = ABC, FX which = ESPN, then they have local sports channels like Fox Sports Network & Fox Sports Ohio, Houston, Southwest, Florida etc etc this = ESPN2, then they have Fox Soccer Channel which isn’t on EVERY cable or satellite television set but that’s also true for say ESPNU AND ESPN Classic. So Fox Soccer Channel = ESPNU

    This leaves us with something to match ESPN News, well they do have Fox News Channel, I know it’s not a sports network, but they can do all the production on the Fox side and just air it there.

    Plus remember Fox has so many regional sports networks, for World Cup purposes alone they can let people access maybe the next closest to their market. Here in Southern California we get Fox Sports West AND Prime Ticket so we would have Fox, FX, FSW, FS Prime Ticket, Fox News and Fox Soccer Channel.

    They’ll be fine, they do need to develop their online content tho…, but that’s their choice to get it to people for free, we’ll see in time?


  • Edwin in LA

    Learn to not get stuck with crappy cable and step up to HD DirecTV service and maybe you won’t be complaining about crappy standard def service in your local market.

    And what was so wrong about Ives’ using a comma there? I saw him listing 2 years, god heavens forbid you don’t like it, get off the site then buddy, there’s tons of news outlets?


  • Brian

    LOL! You are seriously grasping at straws if you are saying Fx = ESPN. When have you ever seen sports on Fx?

    I go to school in SLO and I have FOX, Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket, but back home in Sacramento I only have FOX, Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area (which sucks and is terrible compared to Fox Sports West). In 7 to 11 years will I have two Fox Sports stations (like Fox Sports West and Primeticket)? Who knows. And I will never pay money for that sh*%ty FSC.

    You are also completely sh*%%ing yourself if you think Fox News is EVER gonna spend 2 seconds talking about that liberal, commie game of soccer.


  • Good Jeremy

    This sucks. ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC are on pretty much every cable package in the US. I get Fox, lots of people get FX, but good luck on everything else. Fox also had Michael Strahan announcing recent soccer games. This whole thing is a punch in the balls.


  • ColinC

    I can’t help but wonder how ESPN lost this bid? They must have bet against their own investment (i.e. that soccer will become big enough to garner high viewing numbers0. What were they thinking? I’d be curious to know what the business strategy was. The WC isn’t like the Olympics, in which the TV network knows they will be taking huge losses.

    If Fox keeps with the British announcing feeds, as well as their style (cut into the game as the teams enter the tunnel before the match and stop commentating and let the stadium anticipation speak for itself), then I’ll be alright with the move. If they don’t, given their track record, we can expect a disaster filled production. It won’t turn people away from the game, but it won’t surpass ESPN’s excellent coverage in 2010.

    Hopefully Ives will have some say in the presentation format, as I would guess he has a good idea how to make both the presentation acceptable to both the casual soccer fan, and the die-hard fan as well. (Lots of pressure IVES!).


  • DingDong

    Why is Champions League so bad on Fox? Does UEFA provide a worse feed for it than FIFA does on Fox?


  • abc

    Right 2014, which ESPN controls and which was not part of the bidding here… your long week continues.


  • ANM

    It is curious to me that ESPN gave this up so easily. They’ve put so much investment into the sport, an investment that has been paying off in terms of increased ratings, especially among attractive demographic groups. My guess is that the earlier speculations about the time zone difference are correct, but there may be a larger pessimism about international football in play.

    Likewise, I wonder if the Fox move may be some sort of bank shot, a gamble that one of those two venues–probably Qatar–will be pulled with the US or England as a likely replacement.


  • Dan

    I just don’t understand where the logic of fox getting the rights to WC 2018 and 2022 has anything to do with the growth of MLS…

    NBC just got the rights to MLS for next season thru 2014, so are they going to piss away all the money they spent to get the rights for MLS games because they didn’t win the rights for WC? Does that make sense to anyone? Is espn going to burn the most up and coming market in US sports because they didn’t get WC rights? Waste all the money they spent over the years, and continue to spend? Does that make sense to anyone? Of course not!!!! One has nothing to do with the other!


  • Chris

    You guys shouldn’t be worried. It is 7 years away, and things will be much different. Fox has plenty of time and money to do an A+ job. Even if Fox Soccer Channel is on basic cable packages, no games will be on this channel. They will all be on network TV (which is good). And when they’re are two games on at the same time for the final group games, they can always put it on FX, or they might even have a FOX sub-channel by then. Fox will have an army of people in Russia & Qatar producing everything you can imagine.
    The fact that TV rights went up 400%, and are demanding such high prices is great for the sport in this country. Combine this with the fact that NBC won broadcasting rights to MLS (along with ESPN on certain nights) is also a great thing. NBC also has the Olympics. I don’t see any negative to this news.
    You aren’t going to have a Fox Football Fone-In television set.
    FOX will learn a lot by how ESPN covers the 2010 & 2014 WC’s
    Frankly, I thought the ESPN coverage of the 2010 WC was excellent; probably the best covered sporting event I’ve ever seen.
    But all of that being said, going fron $100 million to $400 million in one bidding interval screams success for soccer in this country.


  • DingDong

    Err, I meant “than FIFA does on ESPN.”

    It just seems to me the production values (especially sound, crowd noise etc.) are much better on ESPN (World Cup) than they are on Fox (Champions’ League). Does UEFA not provide the feed? It must and I imagine they do a good job of it. So Fox seems to still be messing something up.


  • Kevin_Amold

    Uh, those that are responsible will be dealt with. If Rupert is found to have known of this and it breaks the law, he should be held accountable. If he didn’t know of it, he will be held responsible by his board and his shareholders for lack of oversight.

    Phone hacking isn’t a beautiful thing, but let’s be honest, not one person has been physically harmed by this phone hacking scandal, unlike say a scheme to sell guns to Mexican drug cartels as Mark Steyn has pointed out. This resulted in the deaths of at least one US citizen and many Mexican citizens.

    A little perspective is always nice.

    When the hacking scandal became public, they shut down the entire paper. Gone. No attempts to try to keep the profitable paper open. This story didn’t REALLY surface until over the past year or less, yet people hated Murdoch far before then too. If his detractors are being honest with themselves, they should admit that their objections are usually ideological, and usually centered around Fox News.

    I don’t even watch Fox News other than Red Eye, FYI. I just get tired of the political shots taken around here and they are almost always in one direction.


  • Ivan

    Hey, Ives? Are you and your bosses reading the comments on this article? Probably a good 80% or so hate the news.

    To top it all, it appears that Fox Corp. is asking for 40% from Direct TV subscribers to carry Fox Soccer and FS Plus, and if no agreement is reached by November 1, no Fox Soccer on Direct TV.

    Yes, Murdoch is truly one of the most disgusting creatures to ever inhabit our planet, and the world will be a better place once he and his company are gone!

    Here’s to Fox Corp. going bankrupt and its owner keeping Satan company by 2018…


  • Joamiq

    I guess you’re not aware, but some of those responsible have already been jailed, and heads have rolled throughout News Corp. We’re not talking about middle managers but Murdoch’s inner circle. There is literally 0 chance that he didn’t know about it. Whether or not he’ll be held accountable is a different story.

    It’s rich to say no one has been physically harmed by the phone hacking and make it sound as if that mitigates what they did. Some people have been tremendously harmed in significant ways. I mean, they hacked into the voice mail of people who have been murdered and the families of 9/11 victims with the objective of profiting from the info they learned. It’s indefensible.

    I don’t know what Mexican drug cartels have to do with any of this. They surely don’t make what News Corp has done any better.

    I’m not going to make any assumptions or statements about politics because I’m not talking about politics. There are plenty of things to dislike Rupert Murdoch for that have nothing to do with politics. Lots of people disliked him before this scandal just because of his effect on the world of journalism. News of the World itself wasn’t exactly the most respected publication in the world.


  • mw

    Because its been widely reported that part of the deal for ESPN receiving the rights for the 2010 and 2014 WC’s was that they support the domestic league. You can then reasonably infer that the same stipulation was made by FIFA for this go around as well. The problem lies in the fact that Fox doesn’t see to really give a crap about MLS games, considering they have done their very best to rid themselves of the league broadcasts, whether it is crappy production, lack of a weekly highlight show, or downright low balling MLS for broadcast rights as recently as just a few months ago. If they have been planning to make a high bid for the WC rights, why would they let MLS games go so easily? You could try to say that FSC gets bad ratings for MLS games, but at the same time you could say that FSC has put absolutely zero effort into growing their programming through marketing or saturation.

    The worry about ESPN is also coming from the same place. They, like Fox, don’t necessarily get great ratings for MLS games. So without FIFA forcing their hand, will they continue to support the American league, or will they abandon MLS for the more lucrative EPL and La Liga games? I think its a fair question to ask.


  • SBI Troll

    Primetime college football every Saturday on FX. Also Champions League semis. Check it out!


  • Edwin in LA

    All I’m saying is that they have several channels to use.

    Not saying the actual content or quality of sports coverage is the same on FX as it is on ESPN, but the actual availability of it. That is what I was referring to

    Like the SBI Troll said, they have had sports on FX before. UCL Semis last year and it looks like College Football.

    You must be the kind of person, that think being extreme about one thing makes it okay even tho you’re blaming the other side about being extreme on the other?

    Learn to know what you’re talking about 1st šŸ˜‰


  • Edwin in LA

    FX is just as popular as ESPN, and remember Fox has regional Sports networks!

    Plus FSC and FSP!


  • ted

    The problem is that Fox is pretty much Amateur Hour at most everything they touch that’s sports-related, unless it’s generating an overwhelming amount of overproduced graphics for their NFL broadcasts.

    ESPN has a very clear idea of how to do a sports broadcast. They have a studio with some competent guys who provide big-picture context, and they flip back and forth between that and well-produced on-scene production, and everything is done to a very high standard. And they do a very good job of making sure the guys on the air (both in the studio and at the games) are likable, professional, and engaging.

    Fox…yeesh. Exact opposite, in every regard.


  • Josh

    Not to invalidate your argument, but keep in mind that those are all cable channels. Those of us who don’t have cable, but depend on things like espn3, don’t like the sound of games being on FX, local fix sport channels, or fsc at all.


  • Josh

    I think there are sier of 2 Foxes here, the one we all have a lot of experience with behind the FSC world, and the one who put a Premiereship game on Fox on Sunday during NFL coverage, and had Eric Wynalda in the room with Strahan and Bradshaw to talk it up. It was cheesy, but it was a mile beyond the normal FSC coverage.


  • FulhamNick

    Agree with what ur saying but just to clarify… The actual production of WC matches is done by a FIFA selected third party company. ESPN and all the other broadcast companys are simply buying the rights to broadcast that production. But ur right Fox’s production quality on the stuff they do is pretty much garbage


  • Juan from L.A.

    Eh…if it was 2014 I would be upset because ESPN did a good job. Univision is worthless! As an spanish speaker and Latino, I’m glad they gave it to Telemundo and the Argentinian “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL”!! Fox has more than 6 years to get their stuff together!!


  • OC

    I was waiting for this.

    This is the one thing I’m REALLY happy about. John Harkes is finally going to be out of my soccer life hahaha


  • Jackie

    Fox Coverage of FIFA matches begins with Women’s World cup in 2015. This is only 3 years away, not 7 years


  • theakinet

    I feel like I’m a wierdo. Am I the only person that cares about the actual, um, *games* rather than graphics & announcers?


  • Juan from L.A.

    Really? I mean how hard or difficult to find a talentless and no clue whatsoever sexy chick and put her on the tube semi-nude? How? C’mon man its about the narration what you pinpointed shouldn’t be a problem to tackle. The narration that Univision has is despicable and sad. Cantor is ages ahead of anyone Univision has.


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