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Volume 26 No. 51
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Fox, Telemundo Looking To Capitalize On Interest In World Cup

Fox and Telemundo "have high hopes" for what the Women's World Cup might bring and have a "detailed strategy to make that happen," according to Ian Thomas of SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL. U.S.-Japan in the '15 World Cup Final on Fox "averaged 25.4 million viewers, making it the most-viewed soccer match ever in the U.S., regardless of gender or competition." Telemundo "averaged 1.27 million viewers" for that match, which made it the "most-watched Women’s World Cup match on U.S. Spanish-language TV in history." Twenty-two of the 52 matches will be aired by Fox on broadcast, the "most ever for the tournament in the U.S. and up from 16" four years ago. All 52 matches "will be aired live, including 27 on FS1 and three on FS2." The net will have "two daily studio shows airing live from its set in Paris, as well as a streaming show on Twitter." Telemundo Deportes also is "broadening its coverage of the tournament, doubling the number of games that will appear on Telemundo proper with 21 games on the network, while in total featuring the most Women’s World Cup matches on Spanish-language television." Both networks are also "making a commitment to feature female voices across their programming" (SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/3 issue).

DIVERSE AIRWAVES: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth noted all five Fox broadcast teams "have women analysts" in Aly Wagner, Danielle Slaton, Kyndra de St. Aubin, Angela Hucles and Cat Whitehill, and two feature female play-by-play broadcasters in Jenn Hildreth and Lisa Byington. Wagner and JP Dellacamera are in France to call "every USWNT match during the World Cup." Their first call, though, is France-South Korea match Friday. Slaton will also "be in France teamed with Derek Rae." The three other teams "will remain in L.A. calling games off monitors." Telemundo’s Viviana Vila, who was the first woman to do Spanish-language analysis during the net’s' '18 World Cup coverage, "returns for Women’s World Cup and will pair up for select broadcasts with the legendary Andres Cantor." Telemundo has "five women analysts on match coverage along with Paris studio co-hosts Ana Jurka and Carlota Vizmanos" (L.A.. TIMES, 6/3). Telemundo Deportes Exec VP Eli Velazquez said, "We went the extra mile this time specifically on the Women’s World Cup. We decided to really make the talent play authentic and genuine to the experience we’re trying to project. We went out and hired a great group of female talent that have experience in international soccer" (WORLDSOCCERTALK.com, 6/5). In St. Paul, Andy Greder notes de St. Aubin is the only Fox game analyst "without playing experience" on the USWNT. She said, "I never played on the national team, don’t have a single (appearance). I do feel like there is always an added pressure with that." De St. Aubin's booth partner Hildreth said that de St. Aubin "doesn’t show signs of that pressure on TV" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/7).

INTO THE FUTURE: ENGADGET's Billy Steele noted for the first time, 4K broadcasts "will be available inside the Fox Sports and Fox Now apps." They will "still be somewhat limited though," as fans will "need an Apple TV or Roku device to watch the action on the pitch in 4K." Fox said that it "plans to add support for more streaming devices in the future, but it isn't talking specific dates right now." Only the games will be 4K, though, as "additional Women's World Cup coverage like studio shows will stream in HD through the apps" (ENGADGET.com, 6/5).