The 2018 World Cup is getting ready to kick off in Russia, and broadcasters and streaming services are preparing enhanced coverage for the event.
In addition to the Spanish-language live streaming of all 64 World Cup matches on Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and the NBC Sports apps, Telemundo is planning a virtual reality experience, which will be available on the Telemundo Deportes VR App. The broadcaster is also working on World Cup highlights customized with musical GIFs through Gifnote.com, a soccer Emoji keyboard with Sportsmania and an interactive bracket experience.
“Given that soccer enjoys the most multicultural and millennial fan base of any sport in the U.S., Telemundo has developed several innovative products and partnerships that will take the World Cup to a new level of engagement,” said Peter Blacker, executive vice president of Digital and Emerging Business at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, in a statement. “Through these partnerships, as well as groundbreaking innovations and the use of new technology, we are completely transforming the World Cup fan experience from simple viewing to a total multiplatform immersion, in order to satisfy even the most die-hard soccer cravings.”
In the meantime, virtual MVPDs like sports-focused fuboTV are planning their own ways of highlighting the event. Fubo launched a revamped homepage ahead of the tournament and is making Fox Sports World Cup bonus feeds available to viewers within the fubo platform, and making all World Cup programming on Fox available in 60FPS.
Sling TV is rolling out features including World Cup Ribbon, which allows users to view a tournament-specific ribbon on “My TV” to see what games are live and to access on-demand content with a single click. The service is also releasing “Match 360/Tactical Cam” views that provide behind-the-scenes footage two hours before each match kickoff, a high-angle view above one of the goals and a “Cable Cam” view from a camera suspended above the pitch. Sling TV will also have two team channels with commentary for each team in English, including a player isolation camera, a team bench camera and real-time team versus team match stats.
Fox Sports, the official World Cup broadcast partner in the U.S., is planning its own digital efforts highlighted by World Cup Hub, which features live streams and full replays of all 64 matches along with bonus feeds, commentary, rosters, stats, highlights and the customizable Highlight Machine.
The World Cup runs June 14 through July 15.