The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins Thursday afternoon in Brazil as the host country plays Croatia. 32 countries from six continents will take part in the World Cup, with games played in 12 cities across Brazil. Canadian viewers will have access to every game from Brazil 2014 on television in four languages – English, French, Spanish and Italian. Games will also air on radio and CBC is launching a FIFA World Cup app to allow for live streaming on mobile devices.
English coverage will air on CBC (56 matches) and Sportsnet (8 matches). Scott Russell, Nigel Reed and Craig Forrest will host CBC’s primetime coverage every evening, with a live game (usually at 6pm ET) followed by an encore. Andi Petrillo will host CBC’s afternoon coverage, along with analysts Reed and Lloyd Barker. CBC also has two reporters in Brazil, Brenda Irving and David Amber. CBC will utilize the world feed commentators for their World Cup broadcasts, featuring Peter Drury, John Helm, Dave Woods, John Roder, Martin Fisher, Gary Bloom, Kevin Keatings and Dan O’Hagan.
English-language coverage is also available in Canada on ABC, which will broadcast 10 matches including the final. ABC’s coverage, which is produced by ESPN, features hosts Mike Tirico and Bob Ley. ESPN’s commentators are led by Ian Darke and Steve McManaman, who will call the final. Their other commentators include Jon Champion, Daniel Mann, Derek Rae, Adrian Healey and Fernando Palomo. Other prominent analysts on ABC include Stewart Robson, Efan Ekoku and Roberto Martinez.
French language coverage will mostly air on Radio-Canada, with TVA Sports picking up 18 matches as well. TLN will provide coverage in Spanish and Italian through its Univision Canada and Mediaset Italia channels. The main TLN channel will also show every game in Spanish or Italian, including encores in both languages. Spanish coverage will feature Univision commentators from the United States, while Italian coverage will feature Italian domestic commentators from Sky Italia.
You may be wondering, just who exactly are these world feed commentators? In that case, here is a quick rundown of where you may have heard each of them before.
- For Premier League viewers, Drury is probably the most familiar name and voice. He calls many of the Premier League’s biggest Sunday matches for the world feed. He was formerly a commentator at ITV, where he worked every World Cup between 1998 and 201o, as well as every European Championship between 2000 and 2012.
- John Helm has called every World Cup final in Canada since 2002. Helm is a bit of an oddity in that he doesn’t commentate on many big football matches anymore, outside of the World Cup. Ironically it was some 15 years ago that Drury pushed him aside as a commentator at ITV. Since then he hasn’t featured much on British domestic television.
- Dave Woods is a regular fixture of the world feed for both the World Cup. He has also worked for the BBC and was Five’s primary commentator when that network held Europa League rights. In Britain he is perhaps better known as a rugby league commentator, calling the biggest Super League matches for the BBC.
- John Roder regularly works matches for BBC highlight programs Match of the Day and The Football League Show. Last year he was one of the commentators for the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
- Martin Fisher also calls matches for BBC’s Match of the Day and The Football League Show. He has also recently called the UEFA Champions League final on the world feed.
- Gary Bloom was once the main commentator for Channel 4′s famed coverage of Football Italia, back when Serie A was the envy of the rest of Europe. Aside for the World Cup, I’m not sure what he’s done recently to be honest.
- Kevin Keatings is Sky Sports’ Spanish football commentator. He covers La Liga matches each weekend, as well as many UEFA Champions League matches featuring the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
- Dan O’Hagan is yet another commentator who works for BBC’s Match of the Day and The Football League Show.
Here is the complete English-language broadcast schedule. All CBC and ABC broadcasts are preceded by a 30 minute pregame show. Since most of Brazil is in the Atlantic Time Zone (ET + 1 hr), those are the times listed here.
Thursday 6/12, 5:00pm – Brazil vs. Croatia – CBC (John Helm)
Friday 6/13, 1:00pm – Mexico vs. Cameroon – CBC
Tuesday 6/17, 4:00pm – Brazil vs. Mexico – CBC
Wednesday 6/18, 7:00pm – Cameroon vs. Croatia – CBC
Monday 6/23, 5:00pm – Croatia vs. Mexico – CBC/SN
Monday 6/23, 5:00pm – Cameroon vs. Brazil – CBC/SN
Friday 6/13, 4:00pm – Spain vs. Holland – CBC
Friday 6/13, 7:00pm – Chile vs. Australia – CBC
Wednesday 6/18, 1:00pm – Australia vs. Holland – CBC
Wednesday 6/18, 4:00pm – Spain vs. Chile – CBC
Monday 6/23, 1:00pm – Holland vs. Chile – CBC/SN
Monday 6/23, 1:00pm – Australia vs. Spain – CBC/SN
Saturday 6/14, 1:00pm – Colombia vs. Greece – CBC/ABC
Saturday 6/14, 10:00pm – Cote d’Ivorie vs. Japan – CBC (Gary Bloom)
Thursday 6/19, 1:00pm – Colombia vs. Cote d’Ivorie – CBC
Thursday 6/19, 7:00pm – Japan vs. Greece – CBC
Tuesday 6/24, 5:00pm – Greece vs. Cote d’Ivorie – CBC/SN
Tuesday 6/24, 5:00pm – Japan vs. Colombia – CBC/SN
Saturday 6/14, 4:00pm – Uruguay vs. Costa Rica – CBC/ABC
Saturday 6/14, 7:00pm – England vs. Italy – CBC (Kevin Keatings)
Thursday 6/19, 4:00pm – Uruguay vs. England – CBC
Friday 6/20, 1:00pm – Italy vs. Costa Rica – CBC
Tuesday 6/24, 1:00pm – Italy vs. Uruguay – CBC/SN
Tuesday 6/24, 1:00pm – Costa Rica vs. England – CBC/SN
Sunday 6/15, 1:00pm – Switzerland vs. Ecuador – CBC/ABC
Sunday 6/15, 4:00pm – France vs. Honduras – CBC/ABC
Friday 6/20, 4:00pm – Switzerland vs. France – CBC
Friday 6/20, 7:00pm – Honduras vs. Ecuador – CBC
Wednesday 6/25, 5:00pm – Ecuador vs. France – CBC/SN
Wednesday 6/25, 5:00pm – Hondruas vs. Switzerland – CBC/SN
Sunday 6/15, 7:00pm – Argentina vs. Bosnia – CBC
Monday 6/16, 4:00pm – Iran vs. Nigeria – CBC
Saturday 6/21, 1:00pm – Argentina vs. Iran – CBC
Saturday 6/21, 7:00pm – Nigeria vs. Bosnia – CBC
Wednesday 6/25, 1:00pm – Nigeria vs. Argentina – CBC/SN
Wednesday 6/25, 1:00pm – Bosnia vs. Iran – CBC/SN
Monday 6/16, 1:00pm – Germany vs. Portugal – CBC
Monday 6/16, 7:00pm – Ghana vs. United States – CBC
Saturday 6/21, 4:00pm – Germany vs. Ghana – CBC
Sunday 6/22, 7:00pm – United States vs. Portugal – CBC
Thursday 6/26, 1:00pm – United States vs. Germany – CBC/SN
Thursday 6/26, 1:00pm – Portugal vs. Ghana – CBC/SN
Tuesday 6/17, 1:00pm – Belgium vs. Algeria – CBC
Tuesday 6/17, 7:00pm – Russia vs. Korea – CBC
Sunday 6/22, 1:00pm – Belgium vs. Russia – CBC/ABC
Sunday 6/22, 4:00pm – Korea vs. Algeria – CBC/ABC
Thursday 6/26, 5:00pm – Korea vs. Belgium – CBC/SN
Thursday 6/26, 5:00pm – Algeria vs. Russia – CBC/SN
Saturday 6/28, 1:00pm – A1 vs. B2 – CBC/ABC
Saturday 6/28, 5:00pm – C1 vs. D2 – CBC/ABC
Sunday 6/29, 1:00pm – B1 vs. A2 – CBC
Sunday 6/29, 5:00pm – D1 vs. C2 – CBC
Monday 6/30, 1:00pm – E1 vs. F2 – CBC
Monday 6/30, 5:00pm – G1 vs. H2 – CBC
Tuesday 7/1, 1:00pm – F1 vs. E2 – CBC
Tuesday 7/1, 5:00pm – H1 vs. G2 – CBC
Friday 7/4, 1:00pm – Quarterfinal #1 – CBC
Friday 7/4, 5:00pm – Quarterfinal #2 – CBC
Saturday 7/5, 1:00pm – Quarterfinal #3 – CBC/ABC
Saturday 7/5, 5:00pm – Quarterfinal #4 – CBC
Tuesday 7/8, 5:00pm – Semifinal #1 – CBC
Wednesday 7/9, 5:00pm – Semifinal #2 – CBC
Saturday 7/12, 5:00pm – Third Place Match – CBC
Sunday 7/13, 4:00pm – Championship Final – CBC/ABC