Fox Sports Media Group has hired longtime NBC sports producer David Neal to head up the network's upcoming FIFA World Cup coverage.
Neal will be tasked with designing the production infrastructure for FSMG's stadium and studio operations, as well as forming the on-air, production and technical teams that will call and present the action. Last October, Fox gained exclusive U.S. television rights to the World Cup, beating out longtime rights-holder ESPN. Fox takes over beginning in 2015 with the Women's World Cup in Canada Additionally, the deal includes the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup (location TBD), as well as other FIFA-sanctioned events.
Fox has yet to announce its network coverage plans, other than to say it will be a mix of broadcast and cable.
"We are incredibly fortunate to have David Neal, the consummate television professional, join us to lead our World Cup coverage and work closely with Fox Soccer," said John Entz, executive producer, FSMG. "Very few producers have the requisite experience that would qualify them to assume this responsibility, but clearly David does. In his 30 years at NBC he led complex international events like the Olympics, as well as the NBA Finals, World Series and countless others. We expect him to use his talent, vast experience and organizational skills to build and implement Fox's world-class World Cup coverage."
In his three decades at NBC, Neal produced nine Olympics, four NBA Finals, two World Series, and a Super Bowl pregame show.
"I'm thrilled to be joining the Fox Sports family and to welcome the world's premier sports event to a new home," noted Neal. "I look forward to working with the amazing team here at Fox, and I have no doubt that we'll work together to make the FIFA World Cup on Fox into unforgettable television events."