The BBC and ITV, who will once again share the UK broadcast of next month’s FIFA World Cup, have confirmed details of their coverage, as well as the on-screen talent line-up, ahead of kick off on 14th June.
Leading BBC’s TV coverage is Gary Lineker who will be joined in the studio by former England stars Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Phil Neville, Jermaine Jenas, Alex Scott, Danny Murphy, Martin Keown, Jurgen Klinsmann, Didier Drogba and Pablo Zabaleta.
Mark Pougatch heads up ITV’s tournament coverage, supported by Gary Neville, alongside regulars Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Ian Wright and Lee Dixon, as well as Eniola Aluko, Patrice Evra, Henrik Larsson, Martin O’Neill, Slaven Bilic, and Euro 2016 final referee Mark Clattenburg.
BBC Sport’s viewers can go back ‘live’ with BBC Rewind to watch England face current group opponents Belgium and Tunisia in the 1990 and 1998 World Cups, respectively.
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “The BBC prides itself on being the home of big sporting events and we are committed to delivering the best all round coverage across TV, radio and digital of the World Cup 2018. This event deserves expert comment, analysis and insight and our unrivalled line up of presenters, pundits and commentators are sure to engage viewers and listeners as excitement builds throughout the tournament. The opening set of fixtures on the BBC brings an impressive cast of world talent as we head towards England’s first game. History will be made at this summer’s World Cup and the BBC is there every step of the way to make sure audiences don’t miss a thing.”
Niall Sloane, ITV director of sport, added: "Excitement is building for what we hope will be a great World Cup. We have put together a terrific team of pundits who will provide their expertise, insight and unique perspective to bring the tournament to life for our viewers. Our coverage, which kicks off with the opening game, will bring you the very best action and analysis from Russia.”
Mark Pougatch returns to lead ITV's FIFA World Cup coverage, overlooking St Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow
England’s opening two group games against Tunisia and Panama will be shown on the BBC, with ITV to broadcast England’s final group game against Belgium, as well as the first and second pick of the round of 16 and first pick of the semi-finals. Both broadcasters will show the final.
ITV’s on-air launch for the FIFA World Cup took place during the final week of the Premier League season, which encourages fans to ‘forget the past’ reflecting on the victory in 1966 and subsequent tournament failures.
The BBC’s marketing campaign launches at half time of the FA Cup final this Saturday live on BBC One. Taking a look at some of the greatest historical moments of the World Cup, the new trailer uses a unique animation technique which incorporates nearly 700 individual pieces of tapestry to create the final film.