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Volume 21 No. 42
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Telemundo preps for its big moment on World Cup stage

With fewer than 30 days until it broadcasts its first World Cup, Telemundo Deportes is ramping up promotion of its coverage, including targeting English-language viewers.


The network is rolling out a new campaign that is being referred to as “Telemundo es futbol.” The spot, which was born out of the network’s Super Bowl ad on NBC that featured announcer Andrés Cantor and his signature goal call, overlays Spanish words that easily translate or are the same for English-language viewers on World Cup highlight clips, such as “drama,” “increíble,” “honor” and, of course, “goal.”

FIFA requires that advertising remain in the language the network holds television rights for.

“We expect a lot more people will know that Copa Mundial means World Cup by the time it’s over,” said Telemundo Deportes President Ray Warren. “We want to bring the words to life without skirting around the language or using Spanglish.”

Parent company NBCUniversal is also going to make it easier for English-language viewers to find Telemundo’s World Cup coverage. While Telemundo will air its broadcasts on its En Vivo app, it will have its Spanish-language game streams as part of the NBC Sports app as well. NBC Sports’ streaming desktop site will also link to Telemundo’s streams. Previously, only Telemundo’s Spanish-language Rio Olympics coverage and two matches from last year’s Confederations Cup have been featured on the NBC Sports app.

Telemundo will lean heavily on its English-language family of networks throughout the tournament, something that Warren said that previous Spanish-language rights holder Univision was unable to do.

While U.S. English-language rights holder Fox Sports said it will only be sending two of its six World Cup broadcast teams to Russia — with the other four calling games from Los Angeles — Telemundo is sending all of its broadcasters to Russia, and the vast majority of its broadcast teams will be live in the stadiums, with some being pushed to the international broadcast center in Moscow due to stadium space constraints.

Warren believes that could be a differentiator.

“I would never second-guess what anyone else does, but there are a lot of people who kind of feel like — this is the first time [for Fox and Telemundo airing the World Cup], so really? So maybe I should check the other guy out and see how that feels,” he said. “I’m hopeful there will be a lot of people checking it out.”

Telemundo’s World Cup ad inventory is currently 90 percent sold out, with Warren keeping the remainder open going into the tournament. He believes it will finish well ahead of its budget once it sells out of its inventory, unless there are any significant issues with audience level, which he does not expect.