When Fox Sports’ David Neal first heard in 2015 that FIFA was moving the World Cup to near the holiday season, he thought it would be the biggest lump of coal for Fox and soccer supporters.

However, Neal and others have discovered that the world’s biggest soccer tournament moving from summer to late fall because of Qatar’s desert heat could be the ultimate gift for Fox, Telemundo and sports fans.

Yes, the World Cup will compete with the NFL, college football and other events during a traditionally jam-packed time on the sports calendar. But, it has been football since Labor Day weekend that has helped promote fútbol’s biggest quadrennial event, which begins on Sunday.

“The pluses greatly outweigh the minuses,” said Neal, Fox’s executive producer for the World Cup. “It starts with cross-promotion. Being able to benefit from being promoted on our football platforms, you can’t attach a number to how valuable that is in raising awareness.”



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