Fox Sports secured multi-platform media rights to the 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament this June in the United States, featuring the national teams from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the United States among 16 teams deciding the champion of the Americas. Copa America is considered the oldest international continental soccer tournament and has never before been held outside of South America. This year’s event is a special edition celebrating the tournament’s first 100 years. The U.S. Men’s National Team opens the tournament on Friday, June 3, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., with the final set for Sunday, June 26, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Fox said. Spanish-language TV rights in this country are held by Univision.
Along with the U.S. Men’s National Team, TV draws include Lionel Messi (Argentina), Neymar Jr. (Brazil) and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Mexico), who are expected to play in what is the biggest men's soccer tournament hosted on U.S. soil since the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
David Nathanson, the head of business operations at Fox Sports, said in a release: “We are incredibly excited to add the Copa America Centenario to our ever-expanding portfolio of elite, world-class soccer events. With the Copa America Centenario in June, the Confederations Cup next year, followed by the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019, Fox Sports is the home to most major national team tournaments, to go along with an unrivaled portfolio of club competitions and leagues from the UEFA Champions League to Major League Soccer to the German Bundesliga."
Fox Sports plans to televise all 32 matches live across 10 venues nationwide from June 3 to June 26, with matches appearing on Fox broadcast network, FS1 and FS2, the programmer said, along with pregame, postgame and other complementary programming. Digitally, all games are available on Fox Sports GO, Fox Soccer 2Go and on desktops at www.FOXSportsGO.com. Full schedule commitments and coverage plans are expected at a later date.
The tournament begins with a round-robin stage featuring four groups of four teams, with Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the United States the top-seeded teams in each group, Fox said, meaning each team will be presented a minimum of three times.
The rest of the groups, comprised of eight more South American teams (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) in the CONMEBOL association and four more teams from the United States and Mexico’s CONCACAF region (Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica and Panama), will be decided at the Copa America Centenario Official Draw to be held in New York City on Sunday, Feb. 21. The top two teams from each group advances to the quarterfinals of an ensuing single-game knockout phase.