A smartphone displays the Telemundo Deportes VR App icon.

Telemundo Unveils Enhanced 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Content and Coverage

Miami, FL

In anticipation of this week’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia kickoff, Telemundo Deportes, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises’ sports division, today announced digital activation plans and partnerships ensuring the most complete, digital and linear tournament experience for all fans.

In addition to the Spanish-language live streaming of all 64 World Cup matches on Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and the NBC Sports apps, new digital initiatives surrounding the network’s coverage of the tournament will include a full-service virtual reality experience, which will be available on the Telemundo Deportes VR App, World Cup highlights customized with musical GIFs through Gifnote.com, a soccer Emoji keyboard with Sportsmania, GOAL! SHOOTOUT – for the Instant Games platform on Messenger and Facebook and an interactive bracket (or “quiniela”) experience.

“Given that soccer enjoys the most multicultural and millennial fan base of any sport in the US, Telemundo has developed several innovative products and partnerships that will take the World Cup to a new level of engagement,” said Peter E. Blacker, Executive Vice President, Digital and Emerging Business, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “Through these partnerships, as well as ground-breaking innovations and the use of new technology, we are completely transforming the World Cup fan experience from simple viewing to a total multiplatform immersion, in order to satisfy even the most die-hard soccer cravings.”

Telemundo aims to bring the World Cup to all U.S. fans by delivering the experience in multiple formats and via the mobile devices fans prefer. Soccer is the #1 sport among Hispanics and there are 61 million soccer fans in America and 24.5 million Americans play soccer. Research shows that Latinos in the United States are leading the country’s cultural embrace of soccer, with two out of three Hispanic millennials identifying as soccer fans. The average US soccer fan is 10 years younger than the average sports fan. Soccer is already as big as basketball with Generation M (Millennial, Mobile Multicultural). In addition, soccer fandom is increasingly powered by women, with 68% of Latinas being soccer fans.

Given that soccer enjoys the most multicultural and millennial fan base of any sport in the US, Telemundo has developed several innovative products and partnerships that will take the World Cup to a new level of engagement.
Peter E. Blacker
Executive Vice President, Digital and Emerging Business, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises

The following is an overview of Telemundo Deportes’ extensive digital content, platforms and partnerships for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia:    

  • The launch of the Telemundo Deportes VR App will allow users the ability to enjoy all 64 games via a virtual VIP suite through a super-wide angle feed. The technology of this virtual reality experience will make viewers feel as if they are at the stadium, while still keeping up with every second of the action through a high-quality TV signal during the entire match. Additionally, the app will feature 360° content from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The 360° content will expand to dressing rooms, team bus arrivals, and city fan zones and will be available in 2D feeds, 180° views, 360° short-form video content and near-live multi-angle clips.
  • In partnership with Gifnote.com, fans will also have access to real-time musical GIFs, giving Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app users the opportunity to digitally show their team pride through music. Updated throughout the tournament, the GIFs will represent each national team and will be changed to match the progress and results of each team leading up to the final match of the tournament.
  • The Telemundo Deportes En Vivo App will feature a custom emoji keyboard. Fans that download the app will get access to a soccer emoji keyboard in partnership with Sportsmania, allowing fans to include World Cup content in their daily conversations for the duration of the tournament. Emojis will feature countries and other animations. 
  • In partnership with Universal Brand Development and TreasureHunt, Telemundo Deportes will be releasing GOAL! SHOOTOUT for the Instant Games platform on Messenger and Facebook – its first-ever release in the games space. GOAL! SHOOTOUT will allow players to put their soccer skills to the test in the battle to become a penalty kick all-star. The game will be available starting on June 14, the commencement of the World Cup, and will continue running during other soccer events throughout the year.
  • An Interactive Bracket for the World Cup, available on TelemundoDeportes.com, gives fans the opportunity to compete globally. The bracket, or “quiniela” experience, is available on both desktop and mobile interfaces and allows users to participate in multiple game modes, whether it be playing against soccer fans from around the world or creating their own private league for family and friends.
  • These innovative products and partnerships add to the list of previously announced collaborations with Google, YouTube, Panini, Designated Player and COPA90.
  • Telemundo and Google will bring Telemundo’s Spanish-language World Cup content to Google and YouTube for soccer fans across the U.S. For the first time ever, World Cup fans searching on Google for their favorite teams, matches and scores in Spanish in the U.S. will see close to real-time video highlights from Telemundo Deportes, the NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises’ sports division producing the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. This includes in-game clips featuring goals, halftime highlights and major moments in the match as well as match previews, winning probabilities, line-ups and news – all within Google Search.
  • “Somos Mundial” (We are the World) is the first-ever NBCUniversal YouTube original series produced by NBCU Digital Lab in partnership with Telemundo Deportes. “Somos Mundial” is an eight-episode profile series chronicling the culture, history, and epic stories behind the Latin American World Cup teams. Hosted by influencer and social media personality, Joanna Hausmann, the series will focus on Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Uruguay, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina and Peru in a narrative depicting each country’s journey to the World Cup. Fans can watch the series on both Telemundo and Telemundo Deportes YouTube pages, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app and TelemundoDeportes.com.
  • As part of a collaboration with the popular Panini World Cup Sticker Album, Telemundo announced its first-ever augmented reality content offering focused on the World Cup nominated for “Best Campaign” for the 2018 Auggie Awards.
  • Designated Player, Spanish soccer superstar David Villa’s recently launched production company, will produce a wide range of soccer content around the World Cup to air across all Telemundo network and digital platforms. As part of the partnership, Villa will narrate a video series titled “Como Llegaron” (How They Got There), which will detail the ups and downs that ten national teams (the eight Latin American countries participating in the tournament, as well as Spain and Portugal) endured in order to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Villa will also conduct a series of in-depth interviews with international soccer stars who will be participating in the World Cup this summer, including former Barcelona captain and Spain national team star Andres Iniesta; French forward Antoine Griezmann; and Thibaut Courtois, goalkeeper for Belgium and Chelsea FC of England’s Premier League.
  • COPA90 and Telemundo joined forces to launch "El 12" ("The 12th"), a new, bilingual digital initiative to search for the next generation of top soccer influencers to create the first-ever U.S. Hispanic soccer-focused content creator network covering the ten Latino countries in the tournament.
  • The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia will be live streamed in Spanish via the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and NBC Sports apps, Telemundo stations’ apps, and across mobile, tablet (IOS, Android), as well as most connected TV devices (Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Xbox, Sony Playstation 4, Samsung Smart TV’s). The live stream experience will feature more than 1,000 hours of content, the most ever from FIFA, including an exclusive view to the games through six additional camera angles. Live stats, press conferences and player interviews will also be available, amplified by game reports from fans and influencers from the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Russia, which will be available on digital, social and linear platforms.

Source: La Ola de la FIFA Initiative, commissioned by NBCU Telemundo Enterprises in an exclusive partnership with Horowitz Research. These findings are based on the latest wave of research conducted in May 2018, n=1780 Hispanics & non-Hispanic. Bilingual, mixed methodology (online & face-to-face interviews to ensure representation of all cultural orientations, language dominances & the full spectrum of soccer fandom).