FOX exec says calling World Cup games off monitors isn’t a big deal

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> FOX Sports’ list of excuses defending why they’ve chosen to have 66% of their commentators calling games from a studio in Los Angeles during this summer’s World Cup continues to grow. In an interview with The Athletic, FOX Sports Executive Producer David Neal claims that calling soccer games off a TV monitor instead of being at the stadium is “standard in the sport.” “Over half of the matches in America on a global basis in any given year are called off-tube (from monitors not at the stadium),” said Neal. “There are rights-holders from Europe who are not sending any talent to Russia. To me, it is a non-story. In soccer, it is standard procedure to do matches off-tube.” Just because FOX Sports doesn’t have their commentators at most games in Europe doesn’t make it the de facto standard. The fact is that soccer fans in the United
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BBC’s World Cup trailer is a creative masterpiece [VIDEO]

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When it comes to trailers to promote a network’s television coverage of a World Cup, few do it better than the BBC. In fact, this is the best trailer we’ve seen so far to get us excited for Russia 2018, which is much more superior than anything ITV and FOX has created.

Featuring an opera song written in the 1800’s during the Imperial era of Russia, it’s an apt soundtrack for the visually stunning trailer. Instead of just using film of memorable incidents from previous World Cup tournaments, the BBC has animated these key moments. That technique grabs our attention and doesn’t make us tire of watching this trailer over and over again as we look for things we might have missed the first time.

After watching this, it’s hard not to be excited for the 2018 World Cup.

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FOX’s World Cup studio is a thing of beauty [VIDEO]

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> FOX Sports has unveiled their studio for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it’s a work of art. The aesthetics of the studio (see video below) are incredible. It looks like a studio that will grab the attention of viewers who catch a glimpse of it as they click through on their remote or stumble across it on a TV in a bar or restaurant. It does exactly what it’s meant to do. It’s captivating, but also practical. It can be used for a few different sets throughout the day’s programming. It is, in the words of Ray Hudson, magisterial. The occupants of the studio for the four weeks this summer will be a familiar set of faces. Presenters Rob Stone, Fernando Fiore, Ian Joy and Kate Abdo will be flanked by studio pundits Alexi Lalas, Aly Wagner, Ian Wright, Lothar Matthäus, Guus Hiddink and others. Meanwhile, I’m sure Stu
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BBC announces World Cup commentators and studio talent

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has revealed the list of commentators and studio talent that will be covering the 2018 FIFA World Cup for UK television. For this summer’s tournament, BBC will split the World Cup games with ITV. BBC will broadcast 33 games, while ITV will broadcast 32. The BBC will feature hosts Gary Lineker and Gabby Logan, and studio analysts Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Jurgen Klinsmann, Didier Drogba and Pablo Zabaleta. Plus there’ll be Phil Neville, Jermaine Jenas, Danny Murphy, Martin Keown and Alex Scott. The commentators will be Guy Mowbray, Steve Wilson, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Bower, Simon Brotherton and Vicki Sparks. Co-commentators will be Kevin Kilbane and Mark Lawrenson. BBC will feature a studio in Red Square, Moscow. For soccer fans interested in watching the live coverage of the World Cup from around the world, sign up for a free 3-day trial to VyprVPN. The
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Cut your cords and watch the World Cup without cable or satellite TV

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> So, for soccer fans in the United States, all of the viewing options are in for this summer’s World Cup. You can only choose to watch the games on FOX Sports or Telemundo Deportes, right? Actually there are several options for you to consider. All of the options below are legal. You can pick up a pair of Rabbit Ears to watch most of the games for free. Or you can use a legal streaming service that also includes a DVR so you don’t miss a single match. And then there’s the option of a VPN so you can watch a broadcast from overseas. Plus you can always go to your nearest pub as long as they’ll be open for the kickoff times (most games will start at 8am ET, 11am ET and 2pm ET). The 2018 FIFA World Cup marks the first time that cord cutters in the United
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Deadpool makes appearance in FOX’s World Cup TV ad [VIDEO]

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> FOX Sports has unveiled a new World Cup TV commercial that features Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds and David Beckham to promote the coverage of the world’s greatest sports tournament that will be held on Russian soil this summer. Other stars featured in the video include Joel Embiid, Alex Morgan and Evander Holyfield. But in the entire 90 second commercial, there’s not one mention or graphic to let the viewer know who the host country is. It’s almost as if FOX Sports doesn’t want people to know that Russia is hosting the tournament! In the video, it’s being targeted to sports fans that have no clue the World Cup is happening this summer (cue the opening lines of the ad that mention, “Hey, do you realize what’s about to happen this summer?”) If you’ve been paying attention to the World Cup commercials from FOX Sports so far, you’ll recognize several
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ITV’s World Cup trailer is as uninspiring as FOX’s World Cup commercials [VIDEO]

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> What is it with ITV and FOX Sports trying to imitate video games in their new ads to promote their respective World Cup coverage? Sure, the younger demographic is a desirable audience to target. But instead of creating a World Cup trailer or commercial that carries emotion or does something creative, what you get is a commercial that feels like a cheaper imitation of the next FIFA video game ad from EA Sports. In ITV’s trailer, the UK broadcaster encourages viewers to forget all of the dark days of England’s miserable performances in the World Cup. The quick editing and special effects do little to cover up what is a really a very uncreative concept to promote the world’s greatest sports tournament. Is that really the best they can do? Thankfully, ITV made some better decisions when they announced their talent that will be bringing the World Cup to viewers Continue reading "ITV’s World Cup trailer is as uninspiring as FOX’s World Cup commercials [VIDEO]"

beIN SPORTS scores 1.4 million viewers for Barca-Real Madrid el Clásico

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> The first el Clásico of 2018 featuring Barcelona and Real Madrid averaged 1.4 million viewers across beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español on US television this past Sunday. The exciting 2-2 draw was watched by 1,057,992 viewers on beIN SPORTS en Español combined with 342,372 viewers who tuned in to watch the game on the English-language beIN SPORTS channel. The combined total viewers was 1,400,364. With commentaries from Phil Schoen/Ray Hudson (English-language) and Jose Hernandez/Pablo Marino (Spanish-language), the viewing number was far greater than the 845,000 viewers who watched the game in December 2017. In addition to the commentaries by the beIN SPORTS team, beIN SPORTS had Kevin Egan as a correspondent in Barcelona for the match. The 1,057,992 viewers on beIN SPORTS en Español ranked number two among all sports networks during its time slot among all viewers on Sunday, May 6. The post beIN SPORTS scores Continue reading "beIN SPORTS scores 1.4 million viewers for Barca-Real Madrid el Clásico"

New Panini stickers are first sign that World Cup fever has arrived

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> In cities across the United States, World Cup fever has arrived. It’s measurable in the form of Panini soccer stickers that are being bought in stores across the country, and the number of empty boxes being left behind that are quickly selling out of the $1 sticker packs. When I recently attended an event in Florida to trade soccer stickers with fellow Panini addicts, I expected to see more than half of the crowd under the age of 16. To my surprise, most of the crowd were between the ages of 40 and 80 years old. Speaking to the owner of the soccer store where the Panini trading day was held, he explained how it’s mostly parents and grandparents that attend the events. After spending about two hours at the event and seeing the 75 people come in and out of the store to trade their Panini stickers in the
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Ronaldo stars in FOX’s new World Cup TV commercial [VIDEO]

How is it possible to create such an unmemorable TV commercial about one of the greatest soccer players in the world? If anyone could do it, it’s FOX Sports. The 30 second commercial is now airing on FS1 and FS2 in the United States. In it, FOX Sports focuses on the phenomenon that is CR7 — from the haircuts to the cars to the airport that’s named after him and to the one trophy he’s missing in his trophy cabinet. The commercial isn’t as good as the one about Messi or the one that compares Ronaldo to Godzilla. Four years later, this one from ESPN featuring U2’s Bono still stands out as being in a league of its own.

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Messi stars in FOX Sports’ new World Cup commercial [VIDEO]

Slowly but surely, the agency that’s producing the TV commercials to promote FOX Sports’ coverage of this summer’s World Cup is getting better. But with less than 45 days to go, time is running out if they want to capture the attention of mainstream America. So far we haven’t had any very memorable TV commercials from FOX Sports, but this one comes close. In the new TV commercial, the agency gets straight to the point by focusing on Messi as one of the major reasons why we should watch the World Cup this summer. At least they didn’t compare Messi to King Kong. And it’s better than this overplayed one. Here’s the video from FOX Sports:

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LAFC and Borussia Dortmund working together to share best practices

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> MLS team LAFC and Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund are unlikely bedfellows, but both trendy clubs have been working together behind the scenes. Speaking exclusively to World Soccer Talk during a recent visit to Miami, Borussia Dortmund Head of Business Development Benedikt Scholz said, “We’re very close to the LAFC franchise. We’ve learned from them how they handle marketing and how they handle the brand, which is completely different [to us]. “We came to know LAFC about a year and a half ago when they came to Dortmund. There was contact made through people at each club. They got to know each other. From this [introduction], the whole story began. It’s been fruitful.” That close working relationship and sharing best practices has resulted in a friendly between both clubs scheduled for May 22 at the new Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles (tickets). When it comes to
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More local channels available than ever before via legal streaming providers

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> With all of the many benefits of legal streaming, one challenge of cutting the cord is being able to watch your local channels for news and sports on NBC, FOX, ABC and CBS. You could buy a pair of Rabbit Ears or an indoor HD antenna. But ideally, having those local channels integrated into your streaming provider should be your platform of choice. Thankfully, streaming providers such as DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue are adding local channels at a rapid pace so you won’t miss out on your favorite games and television shows. And for soccer fans, many of the streaming providers are adding the over-the-air FOX network, which is crucial because 38 of the 64 World Cup games will be on the big FOX network. And with most kickoff times at 8am ET, 11am ET and 2pm ET, you’ll want to use a streaming
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ESPN+ FAQ: Answering your soccer questions about new streaming service

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> ESPN has launched a brand-new streaming service that is a bold attempt to generate substantial revenue for what it considers a lot of niche sports that it previously mostly streamed at no additional cost to sports fans who had access to ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Since it’s so new and different, there’s a lot of confusion in the marketplace, which is why we’ve collated all of your questions from the website and social media during the past two weeks and created this FAQ that will hopefully clue everyone in. If not, just post your question in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to answer it. The FAQ is so long that we’ve spread it across several pages, so be sure to click on the next page button near the bottom of every page. Here goes: Q: What is ESPN+? A: ESPN+ is a new paid-subscription streaming Continue reading "ESPN+ FAQ: Answering your soccer questions about new streaming service"

Man City-Man United derby delivers 1.7 million viewers to break all-time US TV record

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Saturday’s derby between Manchester City and Manchester United was the most-watched Premier League game ever in US television history after 1.72 million people tuned in to watch one of the games of the season. NBC delivered 1.35 million viewers, while 309,000 soccer fans tuned in to watch the game on Telemundo to combine for an average of 1.72 million viewers across all platforms (also including the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com). With the record number, NBC Sports has now televised the 10 most-watched live Premier League telecasts in US history. The live notation is important because a Liverpool-Chelsea game on FOX in 2011 delivered 1.64 million viewers (albeit on tape delay when it was shown next to a Sunday NFL broadcast). The match also ranks as NBC Sports Digital’s second-most streamed Premier League match with 167,000 unique devices, beaten by Liverpool vs. Manchester United from Continue reading "Man City-Man United derby delivers 1.7 million viewers to break all-time US TV record"

NBC’s Premier League pundits to swap places this weekend

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> NBC’s Premier League pundits will swap places this weekend to add variety to the coverage of the world’s most popular sports league on US television. US-based pundits Kyle Martino, Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe will head to England to commentate games and offer their pitchside analysis, while UK-based pundits Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux will head to the United States to add their analysis in the NBC studio in Stamford, Connecticut. Premier League Live and Goal Zone host Rebecca Lowe will be joined Dixon and Le Saux for the “analyst swap,” while Premier League play-by-play commentators Arlo White and Derek Rae will be joined by Earle, Martino, or Mustoe to call this weekend’s matches and contribute analysis from select pitchside desks. Coverage begins Saturday, April 14, at 6:30 a.m. ET with Premier League Live on NBCSN. Rae and Martino will commentate Liverpool v. Bournemouth at 12:30 p.m.
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Liverpool to play Dortmund in Nashville in Jürgen Klopp return

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Photo credit: AFP

EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool Football Club will play Borussia Dortmund this July in Nashville, Tennessee in a friendly match that will see the return of Jürgen Klopp to face his old Bundesliga club, according to a World Soccer Talk source. The match, scheduled to be part of the 2018 International Champions Cup, will be played on Sunday, July 22. The venue hasn’t been finalized, but presumably Nissan Stadium will be the location. Since the match hasn’t been officially announced yet, ticket details have not been shared. But as soon as ticket details are revealed, we’ll update the schedule of soccer friendlies in the US. Last July, Nashville hosted Manchester City against Spurs in an International Champions Cup game that was attended by more than 56,000 fans. In addition to facing Dortmund, Liverpool will play Manchester City in the International Champions Cup on Wednesday, July 25 in New York City.
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Chivas dropped by Univision from summer 2019 onwards, says source

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Liga MX club Chivas will no longer be televised on Univision after the summer of 2019 when the current TV deal ends, according to a source that’s close to the deal. The news came as a surprise to CD Guadalajara. According to Chivas vice-president Amaury Vergara Zatarian, “I cannot officially say we won’t be renewing the contract with Univision or otherwise because the club has not received an official statement from the broadcaster regarding their interest to continue or cease this partnership. We currently have a great partnership with [Univision] and will continue to do so as long [as] possible if it is [of] mutual interest.” However, World Soccer Talk understands that Chivas will be dropped from the Spanish-language network for the second half of 2019 onwards. Broadcasters in the United States buy the TV rights to Liga MX teams on a club-by-club basis, and Chivas has enjoyed a Continue reading "Chivas dropped by Univision from summer 2019 onwards, says source"

Seeking writers and interns to gain valuable soccer journalism experience

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> World Soccer Talk has opened up several intern and writing positions to soccer fans who are passionate about the sport and interested in learning valuable skills. All positions are unpaid but will offer valuable experience. Many writers who started at World Soccer Talk have gone on to gain employment at companies such as ESPN, Yahoo, New York City FC, Sirius XM FC, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, SportBusiness, Four Four Two, Howler Magazine and other reputable companies. To apply for a writing position, please complete the writer application form. We also have two internships available — one for a Social Media Specialist, and the other for a Managing Editor. Both positions will include hands-on training as well as a great deal of independence to develop your own ideas and measure the effectiveness of your work. To apply for Social Media Specialist and/or Managing Editor positions, click on the above links. Also, Continue reading "Seeking writers and interns to gain valuable soccer journalism experience"

Schedule of soccer friendlies during international break on US TV and streaming

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> With the top soccer leagues from around the world taking a break until the end of the month, it’s time for the national teams to start preparing for this summer’s World Cup with a string of friendlies that will be played in all corners of the globe. In total, there are over 20 matches will be aired live on US television and/or streaming. On paper, some of the most highly-anticipated games include Russia-Brazil, Italy-Argentina, Germany-Spain, France-Colombia, Germany-Brazil, England-Italy, Spain-Argentina and Mexico-Croatia. Plus the USA will field a very young side against Paraguay in a match that should give several debuts to promising American talent. Bookmark this schedule for the international break, and we’ll update it if/when there are any last-minute TV or streaming changes. All kickoffs listed below are in the Eastern United States time zone.   Friday, March 23 Russia vs. Brazil, Noon, beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS en Espanol,
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