List of FIFA World Cup Finals broadcasters
||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (March 2009)|
The FIFA World Cup was first televised in 1954 and is now the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games. The cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 World Cup is estimated to be 26.29 billion. 715.2 million individuals watched the final match of this tournament (a ninth 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.
U.S. English-language television
|Year||Network||Play-by-play||Color commentator(s)||Studio host||Studio analyst(s)|
|2010||ABC||Martin Tyler||Efan Ekoku||Chris Fowler and Bob Ley||Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman and Ruud Gullit|
|2006||ABC||Dave O'Brien||Marcelo Balboa||Brent Musburger||Eric Wynalda and Julie Foudy|
|2002||ABC||Jack Edwards||Ty Keough||Terry Gannon||Eric Wynalda and Giorgio Chinaglia|
|1998||ABC||Bob Ley||Seamus Malin||Brent Musburger||Eric Wynalda|
|1994||ABC||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||Jim McKay||Mario Machado and Paul Gardner||Giorgio Chinaglia|
|1974||CBS (used BBC's feed with BBC commentators)||David Coleman|
- The first American coverage of the World Cup consisted only of a same day tape-delayed telecast of the 1966 Final on NBC. The Final was aired before their coverage of the Saturday Major League Baseball Game of the Week. NBC used the black & white BBC feed and aired it on on a two-hour tape delay. This was the first time soccer had been shown in the United States as a stand-alone broadcast. Previously, ABC's Wide World of Sports had shown England's Football Association Cup on as long as a two-week delay.
- 1978 had no coverage on American television at all.
- In 1982, PBS and ESPN provided the first thorough American television coverage of the 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.
- 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.
U.S. Spanish-language television
- Recently, José Luis Chilavert would occasionally join Pablo Ramirez and Jesus Bracamontes on the booth, usually during the FIFA World Cup Final match.
- Univision will lose its 44 year transmission of the World Cup due to Telemundo buying rights.
Canadian English-language television
CBC broadcast the FIFA World Cup in 1986, 2002, and 2010. On October 27, 2011, Bell Media and 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 will be hosted in Canada.
- 2010: Canal 7, Telefe & TyC Sports
- 2006: América 2, Canal 7, Canal 9, Telefe, Canal 13 & TyC Sports
- 2002: América 2, Canal 7 & TyC Sports
- 1998: América 2, Telefe & Canal 13
- 1994: América 2, ATC, Telefe & Canal 13
- 1990: ATC
- 1982-1986: Canal 2, ATC, Canal 9, Canal 11 & Canal 13
- 1978: A78TV
- 1962-1974: Canal 7 & Canal 13
- 1958: Canal 7
- 2010: TVN
- 2006: TVN, Megavisión & Red Televisión
- 2002: TVN & Canal 13
- 1998: TVN, Canal 13 & Chilevisión
- 1978-1994: TVN & Canal 13
- 1974: TVN
- 1962: Canal 13 & Canal 9
In Singapore, FIFA's broadcast rights fees for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals tournament have been described as "exorbitant", with the organisation having changed prices according to what it perceived the country's TV operators were willing to pay. Singapore television operators SingTel mio TV and StarHub TV joined together to bid for the broadcast rights in late 2009, they were reportedly charged an initial S$40 million (about US$30 million). When the Singapore TV operators refused to pay the initial sum quoted by FIFA, and as time passed, Singapore was faced with the prospect of being one of the few countries not to get match broadcasts from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
With only about a month left before the tournament, FIFA finally relented and reportedly reduced the fee to S$21 million (US$15 million), which was then accepted by the Singapore TV operators. This reduced fee was still significantly higher than the fee that FIFA charged Starhub for the exclusive rights to broadcast the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals tournament in Germany, which was reported to be S$15 million (US$11 million).
This increased fee for the 2010 World Cup tournament broadcast rights resulted in the Singapore TV operators passing on the cost to their subscribers, who were then charged a special fee of S$94 (US$68) in addition to existing contracts, to watch the tournament's games. This high additional fee was the most expensive in the region, and angered Singapore football fans. Singapore was more expensive when compared to countries in the region that will either be broadcasting the matches free of charge, as in the case of Indonesia and Thailand; or at significantly lower viewing fees, at US$21 in Malaysia and US$38 in Hong Kong. This fee is also almost four times the S$25 (US$18) special fee that Starhub charged its subscribers for viewing the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals matches in Germany. As a result, many fans decided to protest against the increased fees with a mass boycott of the 2010 FIFA World Cup broadcast service by both operators.
Astro brings the first 3-D live broadcast of the finals.
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 matches) and ESPN (cable/satellite, away matches), with the BBC holding rights for Northern Ireland and Scotland home games. BSkyB holds the rights to Scotland and Northern Ireland away games, and all Wales and Republic of Ireland qualification matches.
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. 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.
- 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. 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.
- List of 2006 FIFA World Cup broadcasting rights
- Sports broadcasting contracts in Australia
- BBC Sport#Football
- ITV Sport#Football
- Republica Deportiva
- The World Game
- List of ESPN Major League Soccer personalities
- Soccer Made in Germany