Telemundo takes over Spanish-language broadcast rights to the 2018 Soccer World Cup

What: Last night at a presentation in New York City’s Rockefeller Center NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and mun2 took over as the official Spanish-language broadcasters of the FIFA World Cup™ in the U.S. across all video platforms. The FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™ emblem was unveiled in Moscow, from where a video conference with Telemundo sportscaster Andres Cantor and Jorge Hidalgo, Executive Vice President, Network Sports, was held.
Why it matters: NBCUniversal’s starting gun to the 2018 Soccer World Cup in Russia has important implications for (Hispanic) Sports Marketing. NBCUniversal won the Spanish-language rights over Univision Communications, which has aired every Soccer World Cup tournament since 1978.

Russia 2018 Telemundo“Three years and one week ago, NBCUniversal announced the game-changing acquisition of the exclusive Spanish-language US media rights to the FIFA World Cup™,” said Joe Uva, Chairman, Hispanic Enterprises and Content, NBCUniversal. “Today we are proud to see the first tangible manifestation of this major acquisition, which will bring unprecedented exposure for Telemundo and mun2 and offer a unique opportunity to accelerate audience growth and consolidate our position in the industry.” Regarding on which network the 2018 Soccer World Cup matches will be scheduled (Telemundo, mun2 or real-time video streaming  like Univision did during the last World Cup), Uva noted that it is too early to determine what networks  will be carrying the matches. Luis Silberwasser, president of Telemundo described the FIFA broadcast rights as “must have content.”

The most digital World Cup…

Peter E. Blacker, EVP Digital Media and Emerging Businesses, Hispanic Enterprises and Content, said that the 2018 Soccer World Cup will be the most digital World Cup ever due to the “sheer amount of hours and rights, the passion for soccer and digital media as well as NBC/Universal’s on-screen Expertise.” Blacker noted that NBCUniversal Hispanic properties will lean heavily into the social and mobile experience.”

…supported by Social Influencers

One of the key elements of NBCUniversal Hispanic content strategy around the 2018 World Cup will be to work with Social Influencers. Blacker said that similarly to the way the 100 Top Influencers were recruited  to help judge Telemundo’s new talent competition cum reality show Yo Soy el Artista, the network will be working with influencers within the sports area. “We will be zeroing-in on a  network of soccer  influencers with different fan bases and areas of expertise.”

We will be zeroing-in a group of influencers with different fan bases as well as areas of sports expertise.

NBC/Universal also announced its broadcast plans for the upcoming other FIFA Events in 2015 to be featured across the Telemundo network and stations, the cable network mun2 and all its digital properties. During 2015 Telemundo and mun2 will feature 188 FIFA Events matches totaling more than 550 hours of FIFA world-class soccer. The NBCUniversal networks will cover four FIFA Events in 2015: the Men’s FIFA U-20 World Cup, hosted by New Zealand from May 30 to June 20; the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ played in Canada from June 6 to July 5; the Men’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup hosted by Portugal from July 9 to July 19 and the FIFA U-17 World Cup played in Chile from October 17 to November 8.

Related Article: Analysis: Why and how Telemundo secured the soccer World Cup rights

DOWNLOAD: Portada’s 2014 Soccer Marketing Guide!