List of FIFA World Cup broadcasters

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

The FIFA World Cup was first broadcast on television in 1954 and is now the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games.[1] 715.2 million individuals watched the final match of the 2006 tournament (representing 11 percent of the entire population of the planet). The 2006 World Cup draw, which decided the distribution of teams into groups, was watched by 300 million viewers.[2]



Hong Kong







South Korea














United Kingdom

Over 100 nations have provided wall-to-wall coverage since the communications satellite launchings allowed for worldwide coverage beginning in 1966. European coverage of the World Cup has been extensive since 1954 (though with the World Cup held in Chile in 1962, much of the Euro coverage that year was tape-delayed).

Broadcast of the qualification for the World Cup Finals for England is currently held by ITV (terrestrial, home and away matches) with Sky holding rights for home and away matches for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These were previously held by the BBC but BBC have highlights of each home nation in their respective nation so BBC Scotland show Scotland highlights, BBC Wales show Wales highlights and BBC Northern Ireland show NI highlights.

However, coverage of the World Cup Finals is on a government mandated 'protected' list meaning it must be shown on free-to-air terrestrial television (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five) as opposed to satellite or cable television.[3] Although only one broadcaster is required, the two biggest terrestrial operators, the BBC and ITV, have always made a joint bid for coverage with broadcast of the Home Nations matches (particularly England) alternating between the broadcasters up to the later stages of the tournament. This is believed to prevent an extremely expensive bidding war for coverage between the two networks, with the current agreement running until the 2014 tournament.

Year Channel Commentators
2014 BBC
2010 BBC
2006 BBC
2002 BBC
1998 BBC
1994 BBC
1990 BBC
1986 BBC
1982 BBC
1978 BBC
1974 BBC
1970 BBC
1966 BBC


  • In the 2006 World Cup, ITV showed two of England's three group games, with the BBC showing one. However, the BBC would then have shown England through to the final, had they made it; this would have been on an exclusive basis for the round of 16 and the quarter finals (the latter being the round where England were actually eliminated), with coverage of the semi-final and final being shared with ITV.[4] The same method was used for the 2010 World Cup, where ITV showed the first two England games, and the BBC would have shown the next two, with England's semi final shared on both channels and the Final as well, but with England eliminated in the second round, the BBC instead had the first choice of the two quarter finals, and ITV the choice of a semi final and the third place match, with both channels showing the Final.
  • For the 2014 World Cup the BBC is showing England first match against Italy with ITV showing the other 2 matches against Uruguay and Costa Rica. BBC have first choice for the 2nd round while ITV have first choice quarter final so if England get to the Quarters the match should be exclusively live on ITV.

Middle East and North Africa

North America


CBC broadcast the FIFA World Cup in 1986, 2002 and 2010, as well as the 2014 World Cup, along with Sportsnet. TSN also broadcast the FIFA World Cup in 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002.[5] On October 27, 2011, Bell Media, the parent company of TSN, announced that they had secured broadcast rights for FIFA soccer from 2015 to 2022. The rights include the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup—which was hosted in Canada.[6]


|Fox |TBD |TBD |TBD |TBD |- |2014 |rowspan="6"|ABC |Ian Darke |Steve McManaman |Mike Tirico and Bob Ley |Alexi Lalas, Santiago Solari, Michael Ballack, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Gilberto Silva, Alejandro Moreno, Taylor Twellman and Kasey Keller |- |2010 |Martin Tyler |Efan Ekoku |Chris Fowler and Bob Ley |Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman and Ruud Gullit |- |2006 |Dave O'Brien |Marcelo Balboa |Brent Musburger |Eric Wynalda and Julie Foudy |- |2002 |Jack Edwards |Ty Keough |Terry Gannon |Eric Wynalda and Giorgio Chinaglia |- |1998 |Bob Ley |Seamus Malin |Brent Musburger |Eric Wynalda |- |1994 |Roger Twibell |Seamus Malin and Rick Davis |Jim McKay |Desmond Armstrong |- |1990 |TNT |Bob Neal |Mick Luckhurst |Ernie Johnson, Jr. | |- |1986 |NBC |Charlie Jones |Rick Davis and Paul Gardner |Don Criqui |Seamus Malin |- |1982 |ABC[7] |Jim McKay |Mario Machado and Paul Gardner | |Giorgio Chinaglia |- |1978 |No coverage | | | | |- |1974 |CBS (used BBC's feed with BBC commentators) |David Coleman | | | |- |1970 |ABC |Jim McKay | | | |- |1966 |NBC[8] |Jim Simpson[9] | | | |}


Other rounds

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentator(s) Studio host Studio analyst(s)
2026 Fox, FS1, FS2
2014 Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman, Michael Ballack, Alejandro Moreno, Kasey Keller, Gilberto Silva, Santiago Solari, Roberto Martínez, Taylor Twellman and Ruud van Nistelrooy
Alexi Lalas, Jürgen Klinsmann, Ruud Gullit, Steve McManaman, Shaun Bartlett and Roberto Martínez
Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, Julie Foudy, and Heather Mitts
Terry Gannon Eric Wynalda and Giorgio Chinaglia
Brent Musburger Eric Wynalda
Jim McKay (ABC only) Desmond Armstrong (ABC only)
1990 TNT[25] Ernie Johnson, Jr.
1986 NBC[26] Charlie Jones Rick Davis and Paul Gardner Don Criqui Seamus Malin
ESPN[27] JP Dellacamera Seamus Malin and Shep Messing
1982 PBS[28] Toby Charles None
ESPN[29] Bob Ley Seamus Malin
  • In 1982, PBS and ESPN provided the first thorough American television coverage of the FIFA World Cup. ABC aired the first live telecast of the final. ABC aired commercials during the live action. Meanwhile, PBS aired same day highlights of the top game of the day.
  • 1986 marked the first time that the World Cup had extensive live cable and network television coverage in the United States. ESPN carried most of the weekday matches while NBC did weekend games.
  • In 1990, the World Cup was covered exclusively by cable television (TNT) in the United States and had many features of the host country (Italy).
  • The 1994 American coverage had many firsts: The first with all of the matches televised, the first with no commercial interruptions during live action, and the first to feature an on-screen score & time box.
  • In 1998, all of the matches were televised in the United States live for the first time.
  • The 2002 American coverage was all live as well, in spite of the games being played in Japan and South Korea, and therefore aired in the middle of the night.
  • The 2006 coverage from Germany was fully live as well.
    • Dave O'Brien joined Marcelo Balboa on the primary broadcast team for the 2006 FIFA World Cup coverage on ESPN and ABC Sports, despite having no experience calling soccer matches prior to that year. Because The Walt Disney Company, owner of both television outlets, retained control over on-air talent, the appointment of O'Brien as the main play-by-play voice was made over the objections of Soccer United Marketing, who wanted JP Dellacamera to continue in that role. Disney stated that their broadcast strategy was intended, in voice and style, to target the vast majority of Americans who do not follow the sport on a regular basis. Mispronunciation and incorrect addressing of names, misuse of soccer terminology, and lack of insight into tactics and history plagued the telecasts, resulting in heavy criticism from English-speaking soccer fans, many of whom ended up watching the games on Univision instead.[30][31]
  • The 2010 coverage from South Africa introduced ESPN 3D for 25 matches.
  • The 2014 coverage was available on mobile devices and tablets via the WatchESPN application, as well as on Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game consoles, live and on-demand, via the ESPN on Xbox Live application.
  • Starting in 2018, coverage will be available on mobile devices and tablets via the Fox Sports Go application.

Spanish-language television

Year Network Play-by-play Color commentator(s)
2014 Univision, UDN
2010 Univision
1998 Andrés Cantor Norberto Longo
1994 Andrés Cantor Norberto Longo
1990 Andrés Cantor Norberto Longo
1986 SIN Tony Tirado Norberto Longo and Jorge Berry
1982 SIN (used Televisa's (Mexico) feed) Gerardo Pena
1978 Tony Tirado Enrique Gratas
1974 Tony Tirado
1970 Tony Tirado
  • From 2002 to 2014, José Luis Chilavert joined Pablo Ramirez and Jesus Bracamontes on the booth during the Univision broadcast of the FIFA World Cup Final match.
  • Due to Telemundo's rights to the FIFA World Cup, NBC Universo and NBC Deportes different platforms on their mobile devices and tablets via the NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra application, will broadcast additional matches starting in 2018.

South America








See also


  1. "Facts and figures – FIFA World Cup™". Fédération Internationale de Football Association. May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  2. Socceroos face major challenge: Hiddink, ABC Sport, December 10, 2005. Retrieved May 13, 2006.
  3. "Free-to-air TV sport reconsidered". BBC News. 2008-09-26. 
  5. Harrison, Doug (2012-08-14). "CBC, Sportsnet deal broadens FIFA coverage". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  6. "Bell Media lands deal for FIFA soccer from 2015 through 2022". TSN. 27 October 2011. 
  7. Google Search (timeline) - 1982 FIFA World Cup on ABC
  8. Blum, Ronald (April 20, 2010). "ESPN bets on World Cup spurring US soccer boom". Bloomberg Businessweek. Associated Press. Retrieved May 27, 2015. That's a big change from the first U.S. World Cup telecast, when NBC rebroadcast the BBC's coverage of England's win over Germany in the 1966 final. As recently as 1978, the tournament wasn't on U.S. TV at all, with closed circuit transmissions the preferred method. ABC televised the 1982 final, and ESPN, PBS and the Spanish network SIN combined to broadcast the other games. Four years later, at the tournament in Mexico, only 22 matches were shown on U.S. English-language television - 15 on ESPN and seven on NBC. 
  9. Aug 2, 1966 - Baseball's World Series, hockey's Stanley Cup, the National Football League Championship and Kentucky Derby became also rans in drama and international ... De spite errors in soccer terminology, NBC's Jim Simpson did an adequate job of commenting in the interests of American viewers, ...
  10. Google Search (timeline) - 2010 FIFA World Cup on ESPN
  11. Google Search (timeline) - 2010 FIFA World Cup on ESPN2
  12. Google Search (timeline) - 2010 FIFA World Cup on ABC
  13. Google Search (timeline) - 2006 FIFA World Cup on ESPN
  14. Google Search (timeline) - 2006 FIFA World Cup on ESPN2
  15. Google Search (timeline) - 2006 FIFA World Cup on ABC
  16. Google Search (timelime) - 2002 FIFA World Cup on ESPN
  17. Google Search (timeline) - 2002 FIFA World Cup on ESPN2
  18. Google Search (timeline) - 2002 FIFA World Cup on ABC
  19. Google Search (timeline) - 1998 FIFA World Cup on ESPN
  20. Google Search (timeline) - 1998 FIFA World Cup on ESPN2
  21. Google Search (timeline) - 1998 FIFA World Cup on ABC
  22. Google Search (timeline) - 1994 FIFA World Cup on ESPN
  23. Google Search (timeline) - 1994 FIFA World Cup on ESPN2
  24. Google Search (timeline) - 1994 FIFA World Cup on ABC
  25. Google Search (timeline) - 1990 FIFA World Cup on TNT
  26. Google Search (timeline) - 1986 FIFA World Cup on NBC
  27. Google Search (timeline) - 1986 FIA World Cup on ESPN
  28. Google Search (timeline) - 1982 FIFA World Cup on PBS
  29. Google Search (timeline) - 1982 FIFA World Cup on ESPN
  30. Fatsis, Stefan. "Fans Say ESPN's World Cup Coverage Deserves Penalty," The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, July 5, 2006.
  31. Sports Media Watch presents the ten worst personnel moves of the 2000s. #5: Dave O'Brien calls the World Cup (2006, ESPN)