By: Christopher Harris
Even though Univision Deportes has lost the rights to the FIFA World Cup, the Spanish-language network will have a ton of shoulder programming to bring you plenty of news and analysis including some novel approaches such as ad-free halftime shows beamed directly from Russia.
In addition to Univision Deportes’ state-of-the art studios in Miami, telecasts will originate from a special on-site studio at the Four Seasons in Moscow. Overlooking historic Red Square and just steps from the Kremlin, the remote studio will feature an expansive main set, demonstration soccer field and stand-up position with views of the capital city.
Univision’s comprehensive slate of World Cup news, analysis and access will establish its portfolio of broadcast, cable, radio and digital media assets as the ultimate destination for soccer fanáticos this summer.
“Minuto 45,” TV’s Only Ad-Free Halftime Show: UDN, the U.S.’ No. 1 Spanish-language sports network, is the place to be during halftime of each and every match from Russia. “Minuto 45,” TV’s only ad-free halftime show, will feature Univision Deportes’ team of experts delivering award-winning analysis and insight. The show, which will air direct from Russia and Miami, will offer fans a reprieve from the heavy commercial loads during halftime on the game telecasts. (UDN, Halftime of every match)
Pre- and Post-Game Shows: UDN will offer comprehensive pre- and post-game coverage on “Fútbol Central,” the preview and recap show soccer fans have come to count on all year round. (UDN, Before and after every match)
Behind the Scenes with the Mexican National Team: As the official broadcast partner of the Mexican Soccer Federation, UDN will have unparalleled access to the Mexican National Team. Each day, Univision Deportes will produce an hour-long entry in “Diarios del Tricolor,” an exclusive, behind-the-scenes series with “El Tri.” Viewers will be part of the team every step of the way, from training camp to the final whistle. (UDN, weeknights at 5 p.m. ET/PT/4 p.m. CT)
Coaches Go Head-to-Head: “Los Maestros” will bring some of club soccer’s most vocal coaches together to debate the tournament’s hottest topics, from lineup decisions to controversial calls. The roster includes two active managers—Paco Jemez of Las Palmas (La Liga) and Antonio Mohamed of Celta de Vigo (La Liga). They will be joined by former players/coaches Gustavo Matosas and José Saturnino Cardozo. (UDN, weeknights at 8 p.m. ET/PT/7 p.m. CT)
Tale of Two “Repúblicas”: “República Mundialista” is Univision Deportes’ primetime, dinner party-style extravaganza, featuring a healthy mix of soccer and star power airing on UniMás and UDN. A glamorous group of celebrities, soccer stars and musical guests will join the 2-hour program live every night throughout the tournament. On weekends, Univision’s signature Sunday sports studio show, “República Deportiva,” will inject World Cup flair into its fan-favorite format.
In-Depth Analysis and Highlights: Univision Deportes’ flagship sports news show that regularly airs weekly at midnight on Univision and UDN, and at 4pm ET/1pm PT on UDN, “Contacto Deportivo,” will continue to air and will expand to UniMás. Contacto will be the one-stop shop for the most electrifying highlights and latest daily reports from across Russia. “Locura Deportiva,” which brings the freewheeling banter of sports talk radio to the TV screen, will air from Russia and feature interaction with the locals. “Univision Deportes Fútbol Club” will feature expert analysis and serious discussion for the hardcore soccer enthusiast.
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Univision’s regular programming, including flagship morning show “Despierta América,” news magazine “Primer Impacto” and entertainment news show “El Gordo y La Flaca,” will also feature special reports and stories from Russia throughout the tournament.
On-Air Updates: Univision’s local TV and radio stations will offer fans updates on the latest tournament happenings with 90-second “Pasaporte a Rusia” segments throughout each and every day of the event.
Digital Video Series: “El Once,” an online docuseries, will feature Mexican National Team legends like Jorge Campos and Pavel Pardo reminiscing about their most memorable World Cup moments and offering motivational messages to the current Mexican squad. Another six-part series, “If VAR Had Existed,” will explore how modern video-assisted referee technology, which is making its World Cup debut in 2018, could have changed the course of soccer history.
Podcast Series: Univision Deportes will bring the excitement to soccer enthusiasts’ earbuds with a 12-episode podcast series, “My Best Day in a World Cup.” Each installment will feature a former player or Univision personality sharing the stories behind their best World Cup day ever.
UD Teleport: Using its award-winning Teleportation technology, Univision Deportes will “beam” players and coaches into the studio virtually. Allowing for “face-to-face” interactions with on-air talent, UD Teleport will bring viewers closer to soccer’s most vibrant personalities than ever before.
Augmented Reality: On-air talent will employ new augmented reality tools for game breakdowns and predictions, adding a new dimension to Univision’s real-time stats and data-based insights.
Source: World Soccer Talk