Isn’t the World Cup usually played in the summer?
Yes, but FIFA moved it to the November date, as winter nears in the Northern Hemisphere, because of the extreme summer heat in Qatar.
Who sponsors the World Cup?
FIFA’s official corporate partners are Adidas, Coca-Cola Co., Hyundai-Kia, Visa, Qatar Airways, QatarEnergy and Wanda Commercial Properties. Brands with specific World Cup sponsorships include Budweiser, McDonald’s, Crypto.com, Vivo, Byju’s Learning, Hisense and China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited. PepsiCo-owned Frito-Lay holds a North American regional sponsorship.
Sponsors for the U.S. men’s team include Visa, Volkswagen, Nike, Anheuser-Busch, Allstate, Chipotle, AT&T, Deloitte, Biosteele, Gogo Squeeze and Hyperice.
See the FIFA World Cup Commercials released so far
Where can I watch the World Cup?
Fox Sports has English-language broadcast rights under a deal worth a reported $425 million that was struck in 2011 and also included the 2018 tournament. Fox Sports will split coverage this year between Fox and FS1.
NBC Universal-owned Telemundo has Spanish-language rights in a deal valued at $600 million. NBC’s Peacock will stream Spanish-language coverage of every match, with the first 12 matches on Peacock’s free tier and the 52 games on Peacock Premium.
What kind of TV ratings does the World Cup get?
Globally, it’s massive. The last World Cup in 2018 (played in Russia and held from June 14 to July 15) drew a TV audience of 3.5 billion, which equates to more than half of the global population ages four and up, according to Reuters.
In the U.S., average 2018 ratings plummeted 37% to 5.04 million viewers across Fox and Telemundo. One factor to blame: The U.S. team failed to qualify for the tourney. The U.S. team is back this Cup, but there’s another ratings wildcard: With the tourney slated for Nov. 20 to Dec. 18, there are a lot more sports viewing competition than normal, including the NFL, NBA and NHL.
Related: Inside Nielsen's pricey hold on TV networks
Isn’t Qatar under scrutiny?
The Gulf nation is the first Middle Eastern country to host the Cup and the smallest host site ever, with a population of 2.4 million. But it is Qatar’s human rights record that is drawing the most attention. Activists, including Human Rights Watch, have alleged that thousands of migrant workers have died from the heat and poor working conditions while constructing World Cup venues in Qatar. And critics have also cited the country’s laws against same-sex relations.