Univision Communications will air both of the Mexican men’s national teams final World Cup Qualifiers against New Zealand later this month.
The U.S. Spanish-language media will televise the Nov. 13 play-in match from Mexico City and the return leg from Wellington a week later. The winner on the aggregate scoring between El Tri and the All Whites will advance to FIFA’s World Cup finals in Brazil in June 2014. Univision, which counts a large number of Mexican-Americans, among its audience base, will be televising the 2014 World Cup as the final event of a $325 million, multiple tournament rights deal with FIFA.
With Mexico about to fall to Costa Rica, and Panama leading the U.S. 2-1 late in the contest on Oct. 15, El Tri was on the verge of being eliminated from the CONCACAF qualifying to FIFA’s famed tournament until Sam’s Army scored a pair of stoppage-time goals to eliminate the Panamanians
Mexico has made every quadrennial since 1990, save for 1994 when it was disqualified for using an ineligible player.
It was unclear at presstime what time the matches would run and if flagship Univision service or UniMas, which has been televising the WQFs will showcase the matches. In either event, Univision Deportes Network will simulcast the telecasts. However, FIFA listed the starts times on its web site at 14:30 for the first leg in Mexico and at 19:00 in New Zealand.
ESPN, which has forged a partnership with Univision under which it has been televising the home matches of the Mexican men’s national team, will be televising both play-in matches in English, as will Watch ESPN.
Telemundo, which outbid Univision for the next cycle of FIFA World Cup rights beginning with the women’s finals in 2015, had aired El Tri’s away matches. However, the Mexican Football Federation indicated that Univision, as the current World Cup rights-holder, had the first right to air the team’s away play-in match.
Deal terms were not disclosed.