Previously, the Spanish-language broadcast rights were held by Telemundo rival Univision, which carried the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The announcement was made following the unveiling of the emblem for the 2018 World Cup, which will be held in Russia. In addition to TV broadcasts, Telemundo plans to distribute FIFA content, including World Cup matches, on mun2, a digital cable and satellite network also owned by Telemundo parent company NBCUniversal, as well as on associated Web sites and mobile apps.
In the near term, Telemundo and mun2 will carry 188 FIFA matches in 2015, including the Men’s FIFA U-20 World Cup, hosted by New Zealand from May 30-June 20; the FIFA Women’s World Cup played in Canada from June 6-July 5; the Men’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup hosted by Portugal from July 9-July 19; and the FIFA U-17 World Cup played in Chile from October 17-November 8.
In 2018, Telemundo will also incorporate World Cup-related content into regular programming including news broadcasts and updates.
There’s no question that soccer remains a huge draw for U.S. Hispanic audiences.
Earlier this year, Univision’s broadcast of the World Cup attracted 80.9 million viewers. The match between the Netherlands and Mexico became the most-watched Spanish-language telecast in U.S. history, with 10.6 million viewers, while the final between Germany and Argentina attracted 9.2 million viewers, setting a U.S. Spanish-language record for World Cup final matches.