Fox Sports Saturday will kick off its unprecedented coverage the FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup from Canada. Fox broadcast network, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 will combine to air all 52 matches from the tournament, which will run from June 6 to July 5.
I chatted with David Neal, executive producer for Fox Sports’ WWC coverage, and here are a few things he pointed out about the Women’s World Cup and Fox’s coverage of the event.
Fox Sports is Going Big: “This is the largest Women’s World Cup in history with 52 games, up from 36 four years ago, 24 teams, up from 16 in 2011. We’re covering all [WWC] games live on television whether its Fox, FS1 or FS2 and online on Fox Sports Go which has never been done before. Overall we’ll offer more than 200 hours of coverage for the tournament. We have 28 on-air talent for both live game and studio coverage and a total workforce of 400 Fox Sports employees, so we are fully committed to covering the entirety of the tournament. We think it’s an important moment for this event and for women’s sport.”
Increased Coverage Of On Field Action: “There will be a minimum of 20 cameras for each game, and it ramps up to 22 and 24 when you get to the semis and the finals. That’s world class coverage level – by comparison an MLS game might only have eight cameras. It will be gold standard, world class coverage and I think viewers will benefit from that.”
Women’s Soccer Has Grown in Popularity: “There’s no question about it. An interesting litmus test was when the US. Women’s team played their final sendoff game at Red Bull Arena and it was sold out. The exact same matchup four years ago drew barely 6,000 fans into the arena. That tells you in four years’ time the level of popularity this team has achieved and the familiarity Americans have with the team now.”