Univision is sure to attract the bulk of U.S. Hispanic TV
audiences in the next three weeks or so, as the network is the sole
Spanish-language rights-holder for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa,
which runs through July 11.
Almost one week into the tournament, Univision has scored
record-breaking ratings, including more than 5 million viewers on average for
the World Cup's opener, the 1-1 draw between Mexico and host nation South
Africa on June 11.
But this has not deterred dozens of other Hispanic-targeted
networks, which are revamping their World Cup coverage before and after the
actual games, and including soccer-related programming around the world's
biggest sports event.
Both ESPN Deportes and Fox Sports en Espanol will offer
around-the-clock coverage of the Cup, including special programs and game
highlights. ESPN Deportes is leveraging the fact that parent ESPN holds the
English- and Portuguese-language righs to the Cup in the U.S. It has sent some of some its top Spanish-speaking talent to
South Africa, including Jorge Ramos, Jose Ramon Fernandez, David Faitelson,
Fernando Palomo, Tato Noriega and Fernando Schwartz.
Overall, ESPN is promising
viewers more than 1,100 hours of World Cup-related news and information on ESPN
Deportes and ESPN Deportes radio, the most number of hours the channel has ever
dedicated to covering a single sporting event.
Fox Sports en EspaÃ±ol has kicked off a series of special
broadcasts around the World Cup, with commentator RaÃºl OrvaÃ±anos broadcasting
directly from South Africa during Cara a
Cara en Directo. Other hosts include Fernando Niembro from Argentina and
Luis Omar Tapia from Chile.
Other FSE World Cup-focused programs include Debate Final, Tribuna Fox Sports, Goles y
Rivales, Los grandes, and Historia de los mundiales. For its part,
bilingual soccer net GolTV in June premiered The Sacred Game, a six-part series featuring interviews with some
of the world's top stars, including Lionel Messi, Diego
ForlÃ¡n, Kun AgÃ¼ero, Zinedine Zidane, Gonzalo Higuain and Diego Maradona.
Soccer-mania is not limited to sports-focused channels.
Movie channel Cine Latino plans to make the most out of the soccermania.
To celebrate the importance of soccer and the World Cup to Latinos,
Cine Latino has created a four-hour block dedicated to Diego Maradona, who is
back on the soccer scene as coach for the Argentina national team. The network
will air La Mano de Dios, the feature
film that recreates the life of the Argentine soccer star, including the
controversial "hand of God" goal in a 1986 World Cup match against England.
Cine Latino is also expected to air Armando Maradona, another documentary about his life as seen through
the eyes of his fans. According to Cine Latino, the block will air throughout
the duration of the World Cup and on the days the Argentine national team is