Month: June 2018

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FOX Sports Lands First Live Interview with Global Soccer Icon Wayne Rooney Since Joining D.C. United

FOX Sports, home of 2018 MLS Cup, has landed the first live television interview in the United States with former Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney, following his arrival in Washington, D.C. yesterday as a member of D.C. United.

England and Manchester United’s all-time leading scorer will appear today during halftime of the Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers match with coverage beginning at 4:30 PM ET on FOX. The interview will be conducted via satellite by Mark Followill and Warren Barton from CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Once action begins on the field, Followill calls the match alongside Barton with Katie Witham reporting from the sideline (4:50 PM ET).

Kelly Smith and Alexi Lalas at 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Studio in Moscow’s Red Square

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Saturday Afternoon, June 30

Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):
• France def. Argentina, 4-3 (WATCH: 90 in 90: France vs. Argentina)
• Uruguay def. Portugal, 2-1 (WATCH: 90 in 90: Uruguay vs. Portugal)
• 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
• 10:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
• 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)

Today’s Top Stories

FOX Sports Lands First Live Interview with Global Soccer Icon Wayne Rooney Since Joining D.C. United

Today’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports lead play-by-play announcer John Strong on Uruguay’s win being overshadowed by Messi and Ronaldo’s losses today:

“The global headlines will be about this day being ostensibly the last stand for Ronaldo and Messi in a World Cup final … We cannot forget about Uruguay. This nation of three-million people — its glorious history, this generation of players, their will to win, their fight, their grit.”

FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas on Uruguay’s Luis Suarez:

“This is a guy who bit the opponent, and that’s what people will remember. This is also a guy that, over the last four years, has worked on himself as a player and as a person. So far, so good this tournament. He’s gotten on the score sheet. He certainly hasn’t bitten anyone, which I guess is good.

“A more mature Luis Suarez is good for Uruguay. It’s fun to see. All he cares about now is scoring goals and staying out of the headlines for things other than scoring goals.”

FOX Sports lead studio host Rob Stone on Uruguay’s first-half shutout of Portugal:

“If the mantra ‘defense wins championships’ is to be believed here, then we might as well just hand Uruguay their third World Cup title.”

Stone on Ronaldo’s World Cup and his future:

“Ronaldo – remember he started this tournament in Sochi. He had that spectacular hat trick versus Spain. His World Cup ends in Sochi, as well. Still without a goal in a knockout stage game here on the World Cup stage. Will we see Ronaldo again at a World Cup as a player?”

FOX Sports lead analyst Stu Holden on Edinson Cavani scoring his second goal for Uruguay to re-take the lead:

“It’s amazing what a goal can do for your confidence as a striker. Cavani got that goal at the end of the first stage, and he has looked so sharp in this match.”

Lalas on the teamwork displayed by Uruguay:

“We saw that you’ve got to have a supporting cast today. The bigger disparity from your big star and the rest of the players, the more difficult it is in a World Cup situation. Uruguay is a team from top to bottom, and that disparity is much less with them.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Clarence Seedorf on Uruguay’s unity:

“I love their spirit. I love their collaboration in the field. Every time one loses the ball, they don’t think twice and just get back into position. No hands up [in frustration] and discussion going on between them. It’s such a powerful, powerful spirit they have there as a team. France better get their rest.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Kelly Smith on Uruguay’s performance:

“It was an absolute defense master class today — the shape, getting numbers behind the board, chasing back, hustling, and that’s what gets you into the next round. If you don’t defend like that, it’s problems. It’s fantastic to watch.”

Lalas on which team or player’s bandwagon he is jumping on:

“Nineteen [years old] and non-stop. Kylian Mbappe — he’s driving my wagon. I don’t know if it’s going to go in the right direction, but it’s going to go fast because he came out today and it was wonderful to see. He’s got the world in the palm of his hand. Maybe the World Cup in the palm of his hand.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

• 9:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE (FOX)
• 10:00 AM – Spain vs. Russia (FOX / Derek Rae and Aly Wagner)
• 12:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX)
• 2:00 PM – Croatia vs. Denmark (FOX / Mark Followill and Warren Barton)
• 4:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX)
• 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
• 9:00 PM – 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP MATCH DAY – 1 (FS1)
• 10:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
• 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)

Kate Abdo, Ian Wright, Kelly Smith and Alexi Lalas at 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Studio in Moscow’s Red Square

FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Saturday Morning, June 30

Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):

  • France def. Argentina, 4-3 (WATCH: 90 in 90: France vs. Argentina)
  • 2:00 PM – Uruguay vs. Portugal (FOX)
  • 4:00 PM – WORLD CUP TODAY
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 10:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)

Today’s Top Stories

Today’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas on how much responsibility Messi has for Argentina’s early exit:

“If he took matters into his own hands, I can appreciate it and respect it. But, if you’re going to do that because you believe that’s the right thing to do … In essence, that is leadership, but come on, ok?  There are plenty of leaders.

“If you’re taking things into your own hands, then you accept the responsibility. That’s why I say that Messi got out-played and out-coached today.”

FOX Sports game analyst Tony Meola recaps France’s performance:

“We saw some individual talent; we saw a team effort today. They’re going to go back and work on a few things defensively, especially crosses in the box, but boy did they look good today. They turned it on in the right moments, and I thought Didier Deschamps got the tactics exactly right.”

Lalas on a disappointing performance from Messi and Argentina:

“Messi was out-played, and Messi was out-coached today.

“This was a disgrace when it comes to Argentina, and an unnecessary hot mess. They have got to get themselves together and get themselves in order on and off the field.”

Lalas says today was Kylian Mbappe’s coming out party:

“We know who this player is. He’s obviously been on the radar, but when you do it at the World Cup, it’s a whole other level. The way in which he did it today was wonderful. Argentina had nothing to stop the speed.

“He has an understanding of what he is and certainly what he isn’t. He’s going to get better and better and better if he stays healthy – huge, huge force for France.”

FOX Sports lead studio host Rob Stone says an amazing Group Stage is setting the stage for an even better knockout round;

“As fantastic as the Group Stage was, and it is going to go down as one of the best Group Stages in the history of this tournament, there’s this different vibe when it turns to the Knockout Stage.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Ian Wright says Paul Pogba was also a factor for France:

“The way Pogba has played – with this maturity and this class – he’s growing in the tournament.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Kelly Smith was also impressed with Pogba today:

“Paul Pogba today was really good.

“He really came to the forefront in this game. I’d been waiting for it the first couple of games, but he did take the game by the scruff of the neck at times and showed his true quality on the ball, and that’s what I’ve been waiting to see.”

Lalas has more praise for Mbappe:

“It’s so wonderful to see a young player grab ahold of this platform and not let it go, and say, ‘This is mine, and I don’t care how old I am, I am going to take it and I am going to milk it for all it’s worth.’ He did that today, and he was a huge, huge factor in why France just ultimately was better than Argentina.”

Meola praises France’s Giroud:

“Olivier Giroud had a very good game quietly. He’s done a lot of the dirty work.

“If you’re a striker who hasn’t scored a goal on the day, you’ve got to do all that other work – he’s done just that.”

Meola on Mbappe:

“He’s so good – he’s got all the tools. He can do everything on the field.”

Meola says Pogba and Mbappe are starting to mature:

“All those little things lead me to believe that Pogba’s growing in confidence and Mbappe’s growing in confidence – when you make a pass like that. I keep saying about this French side, when you’ve got N’Golo Kante in the middle of the field, you can take some chances because he covers so much ground behind you.”

Looking ahead to Monday’s Mexico vs. Brazil matchup, Kelly Smith says that while all eyes have been on Neymar, Coutinho has been Brazil’s top player:

“Coutinho has really stepped up and really embraced the limelight here.

“All the attention, all the focus is on Neymar, but he’s your man.”

 Today’s Top Videos:

Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 9:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE (FOX)
  • 10:00 AM – Spain vs. Russia (FOX / Derek Rae and Aly Wagner)
  • 12:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX)
  • 2:00 PM – Croatia vs. Denmark (FOX / Mark Followill and Warren Barton)
  • 4:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 10:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)
Paul Azinger and Joe Buck  at the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

Saturday’s U.S. Senior Open Television Coverage Shifts to 3:00 to 8:00 PM ET on FS1

Colorado Springs, Colo. – Due to potential inclement weather on Saturday, June 30 during the 2018 U.S. Senior Open Championship at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., FOX Sports’ championship coverage will shift one hour earlier – now airing Saturday’s third round action from 3:00 to 8:00 PM ET on FS1.

All of FOX Sports’ television coverage is live streamed concurrently on the FOX Sports App and usga.org, and is also supplemented by a separate featured groups stream.

FOX Sports’ updated linear and digital programming schedule for the 2018 U.S. Senior Open:

Date Program Time (ET) Platform
Sat, June 30 Third Round 3:00 – 8:00 PM FS1 / FOX Sports App / usga.org
  Featured Groups 3:00 – 8:00 PM FOX Sports App / usga.org
       
Sun, July 1 Final Round 4:00 – 9:00 PM FS1 / FOX Sports App / usga.org
  Featured Groups 4:00 – 9:00 PM FOX Sports App / usga.org

Lead analyst Paul Azinger and seven-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer Joe Buck anchor the 18th Tower, with analyst Brad Faxon and announcer Shane Bacon contributing to coverage throughout the weekend.

On the course, reporting duties are performed by two-time U.S. Open winner Curtis Strange, four-time European Tour winner Ken Brown and PGA Tour veteran Brett Quigley. Holly Sonders conducts interviews and former USGA Executive Director David Fay provides rules analysis.

Announcer Ned Michaels, analyst Michael Breed and on-course reporter Nicole Castrale provide insight and analysis on the featured group stream.

FOX Sports 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Broadcast Team

FOX Sports Announces Broadcaster Assignments for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Round of 16

Expert Team Continues Top Tournament Storyline Analysis

MOSCOW & NEW YORK – Following two action-packed weeks of 2018 FIFA World Cup™ group stage competition, FOX Sports unveils its broadcaster assignments for the Round of 16. Today’s announcement was made by David Neal, Executive Producer, FIFA World Cup™ on FOX.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ knockout stage kicks off Saturday, June 30, with a star-studded doubleheader on the FOX broadcast network, beginning with Lionel Messi and Argentina facing Paul Pogba’s France at 10:00 AM ET, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal taking on Luis Suarez and Uruguay at 2:00 PM ET. Renowned play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera and former U.S. MNT goalkeeper Tony Meola call the action for France vs. Argentina, while lead announcer John Strong and lead analyst Stu Holden are on the call for Uruguay vs. Portugal. Saturday’s live coverage begins at 9:00 AM ET on the FOX broadcast network with a one-hour edition of WORLD CUP LIVE.

The host nation rounds out the weekend, as Russia looks to advance past Spain on Sunday, July 1 at 10:00 AM ET. The team of veteran play-by-play announcer Derek Rae and former U.S. WNT standout Aly Wagner bring the game to life on the FOX broadcast network. The duo of Mark Followill and Warren Barton wrap-up the day’s action as Luka Modric and Croatia face Christian Eriksen and Denmark at 2:00 PM ET.

The excitement doesn’t stop once the work week begins, as Monday, July 2, is highlighted by Neymar and Brazil putting their talent to the test against Mexico, a team that has stunned fans and won hearts after beating defending champion Germany in its 2018 FIFA World Cup™ opening match. Strong and Holden call the action.

The complete game broadcaster assignments for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Round of 16 is below.

FOX Sports 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Round of 16 Broadcaster Assignments

 (Coverage Begins One Hour Before 10:00 AM matches and Two Hours Before 2:00 PM matches)

Date Time (ET) Network Matchup Broadcasters
Saturday, June 30 10:00 AM FOX France vs. Argentina JP Dellacamera and

Tony Meola

2:00 PM FOX Uruguay vs. Portugal John Strong and

Stu Holden

Sunday, July 1 10:00 AM FOX Spain vs. Russia Derek Rae and

Aly Wagner

2:00 PM FOX Croatia vs. Denmark Mark Followill and Warren Barton
Monday, July 2 10:00 AM FOX Brazil vs. Mexico John Strong and

Stu Holden

2:00 PM FOX Belgium vs. Japan JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola
Tuesday, July 3 10:00 AM FS1 Sweden vs. Switzerland John Strong and

Stu Holden

2:00 PM FOX Colombia vs. England Derek Rae and

Aly Wagner

* – schedule subject to change

Ahead of the Round of 16, tomorrow’s match analysts Holden and Meola share their thoughts on the tournament:

Stu Holden is surprised by how Germany and Brazil struggled in group stage:
“The biggest surprise of the group stage, to me, was how so many of the ‘big teams’ struggled. Teams like Germany who didn’t advance; Brazil who left it late in a number of different games; France who plodded their way through the group and still ended up with seven points … No one has established themselves as the favorite to win this tournament, which is exciting – the tournament is wide open. People are talking about Croatia potentially going on and winning this tournament. So, can these big teams turn it on now? Because they have been sleepwalking, and if they can’t turn it on, then it’s time to go home.”

Holden believes England can’t afford another failure at a World Cup:
“The way England have played in the first two games, the excitement around this team, all the talk coming into their last game, and essentially playing to play for second place in order to set themselves up with a run to get to a semifinal before facing a potential Spain or Croatia. They got the draw that they wanted, there’s no time for excuses now, it is time for England to show up. If they do not beat Colombia, this becomes yet another failure of the English National Team after all the hype and all the excitement around this team. If they fail at this stage, it becomes yet another disappointment.”

Tony Meola believes Spain will win the World Cup:
“Most people know that I picked Spain to win the World Cup. Even with the Coaching change, I am sticking with my choice. After the Group Stage, I am still as impressed with Spain as I am with anyone left in the tournament. This World Cup has taught us that anything can happen – “smaller” teams are defeating “bigger” teams. Spain is balanced from a goalkeeping perspective (yes, he made a mistake vs Portugal) to Striker. Spain’s road through the final will have to go through a tough Croatia side but I give Spain the edge. I’m a huge Andres Iniesta fan.”

Stu Holden and John Strong at the Stu Holden at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Thursday, June 28

Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):

Today’s Top Stories

ICYMI Wednesday on FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT

Today’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas believes England is going to regret not trying to win today against Belgium:

“I think England is going to rue that they’re not playing Japan. I thought it was about winning the game and establishing the winning mentality. The team that didn’t want to win the game went out and won the game, and the team who did want to win it, didn’t.”

FOX Sports studio analyst and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill believes England manager Gareth Southgate has already looked at playing Colombia and the rest of that side of the draw:

“[Southgate] had a look at this and he thinks he can beat Colombia You have to balance the loss of momentum versus when you finally look at the group and you see it. I don’t want to go too far down the road, but if you look again, he’s up against European opposition. If he can beat Colombia, then it’s Switzerland and Sweden. I think England thinks it can beat those as well.

“Overall, it’s a disappointment losing the game and momentum. But it’s essential you look at the group, and they think they’ve got a chance.”

FOX Sports studio analyst and former England women’s international Kelly Smith was disappointed in England’s substitutes:

“There’s not one player I can say who stood out moving forward into the next game.”

Lalas says Belgium is a team to watch through the rest of the tournament:

“I think through the Group Stage, Belgium is a big winner. And it confirmed a lot of people’s suspicion — this is a force to be reckoned with, but also, we know it has to be a slow burn. You don’t want to come out and waste everything in the beginning. I don’t think they have. They will have benefitted from resting players. They’ve got a good draw who they’re going to play in the next round. This was a resounding success for Belgium.”

Lalas on his favorite going forward:

“I like Uruguay. I think they’re a complete team.”

Lalas says Mexico matches up well against Brazil Monday in the Round of 16:

“Don’t tease me, Mexico. You got me all jacked up after those first couple of games and then you get that game against Sweden and you leave me hanging.

“When Mexico comes up against a team that is going to be much more defensive and doesn’t attack them … they struggle. The good part is, they’re coming up against Brazil, and that’s not in Brazil’s nature. Brazil is going to want to have the ball; Brazil is going to want to attack; and in doing so, they’re going to open up some of those spaces … I think this is a good matchup for Mexico.”

O’Neill disagrees:

“I think they’re lovely footballers, Mexico. I think they’re lightweight. I don’t see them really being able to punch past Brazil. I don’t think they’ve really got enough going forward.

“Brazil, who have been unimpressive so far, I think they’re just going to hit their stride.”

“I think [Mexico] is physically lightweight, and I think that Brazil are physically stronger.”

O’Neill says that although Argentina hasn’t been impressive as a team, they go up against a France team in the Round of 16 that hasn’t played to its potential:

“I think that they’re still struggling for real, proper form. I just don’t think that they’re good enough to go the whole way. Having said that, they’re playing against France, who also have struggled, despite the fact that they’ve got wonderful footballers at their disposal. I’m delighted Messi’s still in the competition. That’s the biggest excitement for me. I think he can still carry them.”

FOX Sports lead studio host Rob Stone reacts to the morning matches and a wild World Cup:

“Just when you think you’ve seen it all, next thing you know FIFA fair play points are determining who moves on to the next stage.

“The script writers for this World Cup … they should be getting double pay.”

Lalas says he’s sad to see Senegal go:

“A team like Senegal – they will be missed. This has got to hurt, because they did next to everything they possibly could, and they entertained us along the way.”

O’Neill was unimpressed with Japan:

“There was a period in that game where they were actually out of the competition, and I didn’t think they were doing enough to try and win the game themselves, or at least get back into it. They have, I can’t say by default gone through, because they put the points on the board and they will say they deserved them, but certainly, rather fortuitous toward the end of that particular game.”

FOX Sports game analyst Tony Meola praises VAR:

“For me, VAR has been outstanding. Because at least the referee, in these big instances, has the chance to take a second look. It hasn’t taken all that much time, and people can still argue about the call – that will never change – but at least they’ve had a chance to make a decision.”

O’Neill says Poland has vastly under-performed in this tournament:

“If you think there’s real fallout in Germany, imagine what it’s like in Poland. Poland came in here with high expectations, certainly of getting through this Group Stage and playing in the knockout stage.

“They’ve got so many good players who have just not stepped up to the plate.”

 Lalas on German coach Joachim Löw:

 “He is a legend, no matter what. He is the architect of one of the greatest German teams that we have seen, and one of the greatest teams that we have seen, but he is also the architect of the biggest failure ever at a World Cup for Germany.”

O’Neill says if Löw leaves the team, he’s earned the right to do it on his own terms:

“I think he’s earned the right now to just take his time, think about it, and if he decides to go, it should be on his terms.”

Today’s Top Videos:

Saturday’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 9:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE (FOX)
  • 10:00 AM – France vs. Argentina (FOX)
  • 12:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX)
  • 2:00 PM – Uruguay vs. Portugal (FOX)
  • 4:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 10:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)
Neymar_1040x585

FOX Sports Scores Most-Watched World Cup Matchday 14 Since 2006

2018 FIFA World Cup™ Matchday 14 Averages 1,523,000 Viewers on FOX and FS1
FOX Sports Has Best Day Ever in Authenticated Streaming

New York & Moscow – Yesterday’s thrilling third-round 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Group Stage matches drew an average viewership of 1,523,000 to FOX and FS1, the tournament’s highest Matchday 14 audience since 2006. World Cup viewing also drove FOX Sports to its best day ever in authenticated streaming with 140 million minutes streamed and 1.8 million unique streamers across all sports.

Yesterday’s average viewership is a +38% increase over Matchday 14 of the 2010 World Cup (vs. 1,103,000) and up +16% over Matchday 14 of the 2014 World Cup (vs. 1,308,000), despite the 2014 tournament having been played in a more favorable time zone.

Brazil’s 2-0 win over Serbia yesterday, which sent Neymar and company through to the Round of 16, was the day’s most-watched match, delivering 2,610,000 viewers on the FOX broadcast network and FOX streaming sources. With an average-minute audience of 290,000 and 763,000 unique streamers, Brazil-Serbia is the third most-streamed match of the tournament so far.

Earlier in the day, Mexico advanced to the Round of 16 despite falling 3-0 to Sweden in a match that attracted 2,404,000 viewers to the FOX broadcast network and FOX streaming sources. On FOX alone, the match drew viewership of 2,165,000, a +6% increase over the corresponding 2014 match (vs. 2,034,000 for Nigeria-Argentina) and +30% over the corresponding 2010 match (vs. 1,664,000 for Slovakia-Italy).

Simultaneously, defending World Cup champion Germany was knocked out of the tournament with a 2-0 loss to Korea Republic in a match that drew 1,233,000 viewers on FS1 and streaming sources. With 1,020,000 viewers on FS1 alone, the match was up a massive +216% over the comparable 2014 window (vs. 323,000 for Bosnia-Herzegovina-Iran) and up +204% over the comparable 2010 match (vs. 335,000 for Paraguay-New Zealand).

Yesterday was FOX Sports’ best day of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in terms of streaming with 135 million minutes across the four live matches, shoulder programming and video-on-demand replays, accounting for 96% of FOX Sports’ overall record number of total minutes streamed on Wednesday, across all sports.

Viewership of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ on FOX and FS1 stretches from coast to coast with top-five markets to-date of Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco, Austin and Providence.

Rob Stone at 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Studio in Moscow’s Red Square

FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Wednesday Afternoon, June 27

Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):

This Afternoon’s Top Story

This Afternoon’s Top Quotes:

 FOX Sports game analyst Tony Meola previews Mexico vs. Brazil in the Round of 16:

 “The first thing they [Brazil] are going to do is look at Game 1 when they [Mexico] played Germany and how Germany had them pinned in at different situations and [Mexico used] that counter-attack time after time after time.

“That’s the first thing they are going to look at [the counter-attack]. If we [Brazil] don’t stop the counter attack, this is a team, Mexico, that is very capable of making us pay.”

 FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas on Brazil vs. Mexico:

“Mexico matches up well against this Brazil team. Brazil is not a team that sits back, so if they spread themselves up and give Mexico at least what they [ Brazil] gave in the first two games that enabled them to be successful, it’s going to be really, really interesting to see.”

Meola on how Mexico should approach its match against Brazil:

“We saw Mexico against Germany in the first game and that counter-attack was lethal. I think that’s the way … If you are going to beat Brazil, you have to defend very well and catch them on the counter – and as they start to spread out, Brazil, that’s when you can get them. Serbia didn’t make them pay tonight in those instances, but I think Mexico has that ability.”

Lalas on Mexico’s performance in the World Cup:

“Mexico – we’ve seen of the three games they’ve played – when they were given the opportunity to counter and transition, they are devastating. When they are not and they have to take the game to another team, they have problems. We will see what Brazil does to counter that.”

Lalas on Neymar and his surrounding cast:

“I don’t think he’s being asked to take this team on his shoulders, either in play or in terms of the traditional leadership responsibilities that captains or players have. That’s not a bad thing – that’s a good thing. He can pick and choose his time and then do the things on the field that, leading by example, make him a leader.”

Lalas on Coutinho as the star of the team:

“Coutinho has been a wonder to this team. The way he has played and the impact he has made game in, game out – he is really the star of the team, with all due respect to Neymar.

“This is great for Neymar that this guy is doing what he is doing.”

FOX Sports game analyst Cobi Jones on Switzerland’s first goal: WATCH

“Sometimes it’s not about being surgical when that opportunity comes. Lichtsteiner with a great ball across, Breel Embolo being able to head this back in, and Dzemaili following it in. Nobody around them, just six yards out and he blasts this one in. Absolutely brilliant. Combination play, exactly what they needed to do against the run of play, finishing it off. One, nothing, Switzerland takes the lead.”

Jones calls Costa Rica’s first goal:

“What a response from Costa Rica to start this half. Kendall Waston with a great header off the set piece. This is what he is known for. The Vancouver Whitecaps man comes into the game, has his first start in the World Cup and answers. He gives you what you need. Look at this, he just completely out bodies Akanji, a little bit of a push there, gets the space, gets up, great connection on the header to redirect it, and Yann Sommer cannot do anything about this one as it floats by into the net. Absolutely brilliant by Costa Rica, capitalizing on the set piece.”

Jones on Switzerland’s goal, bringing the score to 2-1: WATCH

“Well it’s happened again and again, and finally they get through with the vertical ball up the middle. Dzemaili is able to play that one wide and the cross comes in. All it comes down to Drmic with a great run into that near post space, a little bit of a slit, and a first time shot. Keylor Navas shifts to the right, you can see he cannot even react to get back to the left as he is stunned and falling backwards as Switzerland goes up, 2-1.”

Jones on Costa Rica’s penalty kick to tie the match at 2-2:

“Are you kidding me with this finish? We talked about it. You can’t ask for anything crazier than this. You have to stay and watch until the end. Yann Sommer is in disbelief because Bryan Ruiz has to be thanking his lucky stars. This is absolutely brilliant. Off the crossbar, off the back. Looks like off the head of Yann Sommer into the goal. Is that going to be an own goal?”

FOX Sports studio analyst Kelly Smith on why Leroy Sane should have been on the German national team:

“I’m thinking could Leroy Sane been a difference? He was having a fantastic season for Manchester City. He was probably what they needed. He had been left behind at home. But it wasn’t meant to be.”

This Afternoon’s Top Video:

Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 9:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE (FOX and FS1)
  • 10:00 AM – Senegal vs. Colombia (FOX / JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola)
  • 10:00 AM – Japan vs. Poland (FS1 / Mark Followill and Warren Barton)
  • 12:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FS1)
  • 1:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX and FS1)
  • 2:00 PM – England vs. Belgium (FOX / Derek Rae and Aly Wagner)
  • 2:00 PM – Panama vs. Tunisia (FS1 / Jorge Perez-Navarro and Mariano Trujillo)
  • 4:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FS1)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 11:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)
Argentina_Nigeria_1040x585

Argentina’s Victory on FOX is Most-Watched FIFA World Cup™ Non-U.S. Third-Round Group Stage Match on English-Language TV in Nearly Three Decades

Match Peaked at 3,344,000 Viewers, and was up +45% from Corresponding Group Stage Match in 2014
Full 2018 World Cup FOX Sports Viewership Up +1% from Complete Group-Stage Average of Last Four World Cups, Including U.S. Matches

NEW YORK & MOSCOW – Argentina’s 2-1 victory Tuesday over Nigeria on the FOX broadcast network led the day with 2,977,000 viewers across FOX and streaming sources. On FOX alone, the audience averaged 2,613,000 viewers, making it the most-watched non-U.S. third-round Group Stage match on English-language television in nearly three decades according to Nielsen Media Research.

The match, which peaked at 3,344,000 viewers, was up +45% from the corresponding Group Stage match in 2014 (Japan-Colombia, 1,804,000).

Through Matchday 13, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is averaging 2,054,000 viewers across FOX and FS1, up +1% from the complete Group Stage average of the last four World Cups, including U.S. matches, and +21% from the complete Group Stage average of the last four World Cups, excluding U.S. matches.

To date, the top five local markets for FIFA World Cup viewing on FOX Sports networks are Washington D.C., Miami, Austin, San Francisco and Providence.

The Argentina-Nigeria match is the most-streamed event of the tournament so far, with a match-only average-minute audience of 398,000 and 990,000 unique streamers. It ranks as the third-most-streamed event of any sport on FOX streaming services.

Tuesday was FOX Sports’ biggest day for unique streamers so far in the tournament, with 1.4 million, growing +8% over the previous high on Matchday 8 (1.3 million).

Other FOX Sports cumulative tournament digital highlights include:

  • 1.7 billion minutes of digital consumption (streaming, data pages, short-form, social)
  • 1 billion minutes of live match consumption; 8% of total linear/digital minutes
  • 2 million long-form streaming VOD (match replays) views
  • 237 million total video views
  • 8 million views of WORLD CUP NOW hosted by Rachel Bonnetta on Twitter
  • More than 18 million unique Snapchatters in the U.S. watching FOX Sports-partnered World Cup content
Control Room for WORLD CUP TODAY

FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Wednesday Morning, June 27

Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):

  •  Sweden def. Mexico, 3-0 (WATCH: 90 in 90: Mexico vs. Sweden)
  • Korea Republic def. Germany, 2-0 (WATCH: 90 in 90: Korea Republic vs. Germany)
  • 2:00 PM – Serbia vs. Brazil (FOX)
  • 2:00 PM – Switzerland vs. Costa Rica (FS1)
  • 4:00 PM – WORLD CUP TODAY (FS1)
  • 7:00 PM – WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
  • 7:00 PM – WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)

This Morning’s Top Story

ICYMI Tuesday on FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT

This Morning’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas and lead studio host Rob Stone react to a wild morning of World Cup matches:

Lalas: “For sheer entertainment and drama, at least so far – best World Cup yet.

“Every game, something’s going on.”

Stone: “This is shaping up to be the best World Cup in the history of this tournament. You want reality TV? Here’s your reality TV.”

Lalas: “Every single day is providing this drama and this entertainment. In our studio, around the world, here at Red Square, everybody riveted, glued to the television sets watching what’s going on.”

Following an early exit, FOX Sports’ Clarence Seedorf and Lalas think it may be time for a change in German leadership:

Seedorf: “We have to applaud him [Joachim Löw], but I think it’s time for a change for him as well. I don’t think his impact on this team has been the same during the tournament. I do believe that he has been a game-changer for Germany, but there also comes a time for him and his reputation.”

Lalas: “This doesn’t need to be a reboot again. The German system is going to keep producing players and it’s going to keep producing a national team, but it needs to be freshened up in terms of leadership at the top. The system doesn’t change, but certainly Joachim Löw can move on and they can bring somebody else in.”

 FOX Sports studio analyst Kelly Smith says Germany got what they deserved:

 “Lots and lots and lots of missed opportunities, and they deserved what they got.

“It’s really surprising, because you think of Germany as being this big powerhouse within the game. The [South Korea] keeper was outstanding today – you’ve got to give credit to him, but they [Germany] had chance after chance after chance. It just didn’t seem like it was going to be their day.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Guus Hiddink adds:

“I didn’t like the German approach of the game – it’s as if they were thinking oh, in the last five minutes, it will happen. There was no desire, there was no good technical plan.”

Seedorf thinks Sweden is a dangerous team down the line:

“They were more aggressive than I expected, but they were [also] organized in defense. They didn’t give any space to the Mexican team and came out dangerous with their set pieces.

“Mostly what I’ve seen today is that this team could be dangerous for anybody, because they stepped it up. I saw some quality plays, some good possessions. Sweden definitely has something to look forward to.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Moises Munoz expresses disappointment in Mexico’s performance:

“I was expecting a lot more from Mexico. We were asking for ball possession, and they did have more, but it didn’t take them anywhere. They were not as aggressive as Sweden…Sweden just did what Mexico was supposed to do in this game – take control of the ball, take control of the game, go deep into the opposition’s area and be dangerous.”

FOX Sports lead play-by-play announcer John Strong calls the end of the South Korea-Germany match:

“For the first time in their illustrious history, Germany are out in the Group Stage of a World Cup.

“Celebrations for South Korea … A great escape for Mexico … A disaster here in Russia for Germany.”

FOX Sports lead game analyst Stu Holden credits South Korea for a match well-played:

“Full credit today to South Korea. The way they have defended Germany, the way that they played on the break, the way they capitalized on their goals.

“Ecstasy for South Korea. They had nothing but pride to play for once Sweden had taken the lead, and they have done themselves proud here.”

Holden was not impressed with Germany’s first-half performance:

“I don’t feel Germany have really gotten out of third gear yet in this game – a couple flashes here and there. We have to give credit to South Korea for the way that they have worked defensively to keep them out and keep this game scoreless to this point. But it’s somewhat of a worrying trend, though, for this German team.”

Strong on Germany’s sloppy play:

“Have you ever seen so many missed connections and so many missed passes by a German team?”

Lalas reacts to no changes to Mexico’s starting lineup:

“The tinkerer was evidently playing us the last couple years. Juan Carlos Osorio has come to this World Cup with a set team, a set formation, a set identity. I want to see that continue. I want to see that dynamic, swashbuckling team that counters into space; ruthless into transition; collective swarming on the defense. That’s what this team, so far, has been.

“They’re feeling it right now in the way that they’re playing, and that’s where that confidence is coming from.”

Lalas says even though they advanced out of the Group Stage, Argentina still has issues:

“This was a hot mess going into the game, and it’s still a hot mess. It’s just a hot mess that’s going on to the Round of 16.

“There are some signs of life, and there are certainly some signs of leadership and ownership from a lot of people, and most importantly from this man right here [Messi].”

“I don’t know if he’s [Jorge Sampaoli] doing any coaching, but it doesn’t really matter at this point if Messi is leading this team and if he can provide those moments of greatness.”

Seedorf says it doesn’t matter if Sampaoli is doing any coaching or not:

“When you are in this situation with a coach that has this issue with the team, the most important thing is that the players stick together, because if you have an issue with the players, then you’re done.”

Munoz looks ahead to France vs. Argentina in the Round of 16:

“This is probably good news for Argentina. They are going to face France – France that has not been the France we know they can be. They have not really shown up in this tournament. They have the players to do so.

“We’re going to see – probably – the best two faces of those two teams in this next match.”

 This Morning’s Top Videos:

Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 9:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE (FOX and FS1)
  • 10:00 AM – Senegal vs. Colombia (FOX / JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola)
  • 10:00 AM – Japan vs. Poland (FS1 / Mark Followill and Warren Barton)
  • 12:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FS1)
  • 1:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FOX and FS1)
  • 2:00 PM – England vs. Belgium (FOX / Derek Rae and Aly Wagner)
  • 2:00 PM – Panama vs. Tunisia (FS1 / Jorge Perez-Navarro and Mariano Trujillo)
  • 4:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TODAY (FS1)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 11:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FS1)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)