David Neal, who was to oversee Univision’s coverage of the 2014 World Cup, has joined Fox Sports to head planning for its coverage of the
men’s soccer tournament in 2018 and 2022. Neal, a longtime NBC Sports executive, has been a senior vice president in sports production at Univision, where he recently helped launch a 24/7
Spanish-language sports network.
The Fox Sports Media Group (FSMG) will take over English-language rights to the men’s and women’s World Cup events after ESPN airs the Rio event in 2014.
Neal, executive president of Fox Soccer, will help get FSMG ready for multiplatform coverage. Neal’s duties will also include contributing to FSMG’s coverage of next
summer’s Gold Cup and helping expand all aspects of the Fox Soccer network.
It is a testament to how successful networks believe soccer will be that both Univision (by Telemundo) and ESPN (by Fox) were outbid for future World Cups.
Neal joined Univision a year ago, helping to launch the all-sports network and one exclusively for Dish Network.
Previously, Neal spent 30 years at NBC Sports, involved in production for the Olympics, Super Bowl, NBA Finals and World Series. As executive vice president of NBC Olympics, he oversaw coverage of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
Neal will report to FSMG’s executive producer John Entz, who stated that his experience with “complex international events” should be an asset. While Fox may air the World Cup final game on its flagship broadcast network, other World Cup games should fill Fox Soccer and perhaps air on other cable outlets.