Fox Sports won the bidding in 2011 for the English-language broadcasting rights to all FIFA events from 2015 to 2022, including the 2018 and 2022 Men’s World Cup tournaments, shelling out more than $400 million to top ESPN.
However, a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago last October eliminated the U.S. squad from contention for a berth in the 2018 event.
Fox Sports did not respond to a request for comment on whether the absence of the U.S. team affected its social media initiatives for the upcoming tournament.
But in a statement the day after the loss to Trinidad and Tobago, the network said, “Last night’s World Cup qualifying results do not change Fox Sports’ passion for the world’s biggest sporting event. While the U.S. was eliminated, the biggest stars in the world, from Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo, stamped their tickets to Russia on the same day and will battle teams ranging from Mexico to England that have massive fan bases in America.”
Soccer fans certainly kept Twitter busy, as the social network announced in November that there were some 50,000 tweets related to the World Cup Draw between when the field was set Nov. 15 and the actual event Dec. 1, as well as 4.8 million World Cup-related tweets from August through Dec. 1.
And off a much smaller user base for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Twitter totaled 672 million tweets during the 32-day tournament.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off June 14 and runs through July 15.
Fox Sports will produce a daily 30-minute show on all 27 match days during the tournament, to be livestreamed exclusively on Twitter and available to logged-in and logged-out U.S. users via @FOXSports and @FOXSoccer.
Rachel Bonnetta will host from Moscow’s Red Square, joined by guests including Fox Sports on-air personalities Rob Stone, Landon Donovan, Kate Abdo, Alexi Lalas, Fernando Fiore and Stuart Holden.
The show will include match previews, recaps, Twitter reactions and original segments produced by Fox Sports’ team in Moscow.
Fox Sports will also provide “near-live video highlights” from every match to Twitter, including every goal scored, as well as videos from question-and-answer sessions with talent, interviews with players and coaches and press conferences.
The network said advertising packages are available for both the live daily show and the video clips, but it did not respond to a request for further details.
On Snapchat, Fox Sports will produce a Publisher Story running throughout the tournament that will use text, video, artwork, motion graphics and other elements to “chronicle the day-to-day drama.”
The Publisher Story will include recaps, previews and features produced specifically for Snapchat.
Snapchat will also produce Our Stories from the World Cup, featuring video highlights of goals and other key moments provided by Fox Sports, as well as behind-the-scenes reactions from fans in Russia and around the world.
Our Stories are compilations of video Snaps submitted by users of the application and curated by editors at Snapchat.
Fox Sports said advertising opportunities are available for its World Cup offerings on Snapchat, but it did not provide any further details.