With less than three months until the kickoff of two of soccer's biggest events, Telemundo Deportes President Ray Warren said ad sales are running strong for the programmer.
Warren, speaking at a March 19 event about plans for coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup from France and Copa America, the South American tournament hosted in Brazil, said, "We're in really good shape for both tournaments." Later, in an interview, Warren said deals have been netted in the auto, beer, wireless, telecom and beverage categories. He declined to supply a sell-through level.
Asked about clients that may have secured schedules in both tournaments, Warren said he did not know how much of an overlap there is since the events were sold on different cycles. Telemundo Deportes did not get the rights to Copa America until July 2018, when the deal was announced on air during the network's halftime coverage of the Mexico-Brazil World Cup match. Still, he said the network's record — having presented the Olympics and the World Cup in 2015 and 2018 as well as other events sanctioned by FIFA — has been advantageous for sales. "Advertisers know we can handle the biggest events," Warren said.
The 24-nation, 52-match Women's World Cup kicks off June 7 and culminates July 7, while Copa America, featuring Japan and Qatar — the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup — and 10 South American squads including powers Brazil and Japan, plays out from June 14 through July 7.
All told, the programmer will air 750 hours of match and related coverage on Telemundo (US), cable network UNIVERSO (US), Telemundodeportes.com and streaming app Telemundo En Vivo.
Eli Velazquez, executive vice president of sports content at Telemundo Deportes, said NBCUniversal Media LLC's Spanish-language sports arm is producing extensive short-form content around the events, including programming that will appear weekly on Twitter Inc.
Coverage will culminate with 21 Women's World Cup matches on Telemundo, compared with 10 from the 2015 event in Canada and the most-ever for Spanish-language broadcaster for the distaff event. The U.S. women are the defending World Cup champions and the top-ranked side by FIFA. Similarly, 21 Copa America matches will appear on the broadcaster.
Fox Corp., the news and sports-centric company spun out from Walt Disney Co.'s purchase of 21st Century Fox Inc. assets, holds the English-language rights to the Women's World Cup and will air 22 matches on FOX (US) with 27 games slated for FOX Sports 1 (US) and three on FOX Sports 2 (US).