2014 FIFA World Cup Canadian Viewers’ Guide

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.

Group A
Thursday 6/12, 5:00pm – Brazil vs. Croatia – CBC (John Helm)
Friday 6/13, 1:00pm – Mexico vs. Cameroon – CBC (Peter Drury)
Tuesday 6/17, 4:00pm – Brazil vs. Mexico – CBC
Wednesday 6/18, 7:00pm – Cameroon vs. Croatia – CBC (Dan O’Hagan)
Monday 6/23, 5:00pm – Croatia vs. Mexico – CBC/SN
Monday 6/23, 5:00pm – Cameroon vs. Brazil – CBC/SN

Group B
Friday 6/13, 4:00pm – Spain vs. Holland – CBC (Dave Woods)
Friday 6/13, 7:00pm – Chile vs. Australia – CBC (Dan O’Hagan)
Wednesday 6/18, 1:00pm – Australia vs. Holland – CBC (John Roder)
Wednesday 6/18, 4:00pm – Spain vs. Chile – CBC
Monday 6/23, 1:00pm – Holland vs. Chile – CBC/SN (John Roder)
Monday 6/23, 1:00pm – Australia vs. Spain – CBC/SN (Dan O’Hagan)

Group C
Saturday 6/14, 1:00pm – Colombia vs. Greece – CBC/ABC (Adrian Healey & Taylor Twellman)
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 (Gary Bloom)
Tuesday 6/24, 5:00pm – Greece vs. Cote d’Ivorie – CBC/SN
Tuesday 6/24, 5:00pm – Japan vs. Colombia – CBC/SN (Kevin Keatings)

Group D
Saturday 6/14, 4:00pm – Uruguay vs. Costa Rica – CBC/ABC (Jon Champion & Stewart Robson)
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 (Gary Bloom)
Tuesday 6/24, 1:00pm – Costa Rica vs. England – CBC/SN

Group E
Sunday 6/15, 1:00pm – Switzerland vs. Ecuador – CBC/ABC (Adrian Healey & Alejandro Moreno)
Sunday 6/15, 4:00pm – France vs. Honduras – CBC (John Roder)/ABC (Daniel Mann & Kasey Keller)
Friday 6/20, 4:00pm – Switzerland vs. France – CBC
Friday 6/20, 7:00pm – Honduras vs. Ecuador – CBC (Kevin Keatings)
Wednesday 6/25, 5:00pm – Ecuador vs. France – CBC/SN
Wednesday 6/25, 5:00pm – Hondruas vs. Switzerland – CBC/SN (Dan O’Hagan)

Group F
Sunday 6/15, 7:00pm – Argentina vs. Bosnia – CBC
Monday 6/16, 4:00pm – Iran vs. Nigeria – CBC (Dan O’Hagan)
Saturday 6/21, 1:00pm – Argentina vs. Iran – CBC
Saturday 6/21, 7:00pm – Nigeria vs. Bosnia – CBC (Dan O’Hagan)
Wednesday 6/25, 1:00pm – Nigeria vs. Argentina – CBC/SN
Wednesday 6/25, 1:00pm – Bosnia vs. Iran – CBC/SN

Group G
Monday 6/16, 1:00pm – Germany vs. Portugal – CBC
Monday 6/16, 7:00pm – Ghana vs. United States – CBC (Gary Bloom)
Saturday 6/21, 4:00pm – Germany vs. Ghana – CBC
Sunday 6/22, 7:00pm – United States vs. Portugal – CBC (Kevin Keatings)
Thursday 6/26, 1:00pm – United States vs. Germany – CBC/SN (Gary Bloom)
Thursday 6/26, 1:00pm – Portugal vs. Ghana – CBC/SN

Group H
Tuesday 6/17, 1:00pm – Belgium vs. Algeria – CBC
Tuesday 6/17, 7:00pm – Russia vs. Korea – CBC (Kevin Keatings)
Sunday 6/22, 1:00pm – Belgium vs. Russia – CBC (Gary Bloom)/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 (Kevin Keatings)

Knockout Phase
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

32 thoughts on “2014 FIFA World Cup Canadian Viewers’ Guide

  1. Will be interesting to see how the cuts show through in quality of telecasts. Other networks have stepped up their footy coverage while CBC seems to just want to maintain status quo since like hockey, they have lost the rights to future World Cups.

    I can see the off-field flavour good & bad being undercovered by them with only 2 people in Brasil.

  2. This is very helpful. It took me a while to find this website which shows the time and TV channel for Canadian viewers. Thanks.

  3. Is it just me or the world cup fever is bigger than ever in Canada (southern Ontario). I never saw this many flags on cars, I counted 3 Swiss flags this morning !!! Even in business section of Toronto Stars, there is talk about World Cup almost everyday.I dont recall major stores selling world cup merchandise as much as this year.

    My neighbor is a blue jays fan, he got a Brazil flag on his back yard! I notice so many people don’t even watch any soccer leagues but they love to watch the world cup.

    Anyhow, I am glad we get the World Cup here in Canada for free, my friend in Buffalo is using CBC OTA to watch the games. I think FIFA should make it mandatory for countries around the world to show the games for free because there is more than enough money in advertising.

    So how long we have to wait for CBC and SN to come up with a fixed schedule for June 23-26? Probably CBC is looking to pick the more important game and shift the other one to SN.

    I’m assuming TSN will do what ESPN is doing and share games with CTV for the next world cup.

    • I haven’t noticed it here in New Brunswick, but people seem to only watch NFL, NHL and MLB here anyway.

      I don’t think FIFA should make it mandatory for all matches to be OTA. They’d lose out on a lot of money in most countries. US nets would certainly pay less, as would many in Latin America and the Middle East. Even in Canada, CBC is the only OTA that would be willing to give up its entire daytime schedule for World Cup. In the US, nobody would.

      They won’t release the schedule for June 23-26 until the 2nd group stage games have been played. But CBC will show the best/most important game (those could mean 2 different things).

      CTV will have the final live of the next World Cup for sure (FIFA does make it mandatory that the final airs on a OTA network usually). Not sure how many other matches CTV will show. Remember in 2006 only the final aired on CTV.

      • So nobody has flags on their cars? Bars aren’t busy? people dont talk about it?

        I saw celebration 3 times this world cup just for the first round: danforth st/greek, college st/Italy, Yonge & Finch st/Iranian. Never going to any bars to watch the games, cant’ hear anything.

        Going to Downtown Toronto tomorrow for Final game, street closure so it might be a huge party after. For hockey gold medal it was busy but too cold.

        Please update some new tv soccer stuff in July/August. I am going to wear black on Monday because the world cup is over.

        • In New Brunswick, no. I really don’t know anybody other than myself and a few others (most of whom weren’t born in Canada) who will watch a single game. Bars might have CBC’s coverage on, but are just as likely to have SN or TSN on the TV.

          Maybe 5 times I’ve seen cars or homes with flags. A Portugal flag in a car window, a Greece flag flying on a front lawn, and a Netherlands flag on a car come to mind.

          This is a very different place than Toronto. Very few immigrants from the Caribbean or continental Europe. The one bar in Fredericton where support is noticeable for Champions League is the one at the University of New Brunswick. There’s enough foreign students and a few Canadian students interested in soccer to bring a decent crowd to watch those matches. But even its closed in the summer. I haven’t seen any bar promoting to come and watch the World Cup or anything like that.

    • The only way the Fifa could make it mandatory for tv channels etc to offer it fore free is if they lower there fees big time.

  4. Just wondering about Saturday’s sked, is Japan-Ivory Coast live at 10 pm or is that a same-day tape? Any reason Sportsnet couldn’t air that match live or on Sportsnet One or 360? Wil there be mostly 3 matches per day in the group stage or are there some 4-match days in there?


    • It is a live match. The last 4 days of group stage matchups have four games per day (2 at 1:00 and 2 at 5:00), as does Saturday (1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00). Otherwise every group stage matchday has 3 games (1:00, 4:00, 7:00).

  5. Thanks for that, I live in the Eastern time zone, so the matches would be 12:00, 3:00, 6:00. I believe Brazil is in the Atlantic time zone, same as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI, am I right?


  6. Thanks for this information on which announcers are doing which games and the background info on each. Much appreciated. Any chance of an update for the games not specified at the time of your original post?

    • No problem. Unfortunately I can’t get a full list from HBS (the company that produced the feed). Some of the commentators were kind enough to send me a list of the matches they are commentating on. The rest I don’t know how to get in contact with.,

  7. I prefer the ‘international’ feed announcers to those of the BBC or ITV. They tend to be not too objective about england and its opponents. Until CBC get homegrown announcers, I prefer the brits who are seemingly neutral. At least we don’t have Dick Howard doing any indepth analysis this world cup.

    • But England only plays 3 matches (or a few more if they’re lucky). I’ve watched a few matches on the BBC’s website and their guys are pretty good. Guy Mowbray in particular.

      • Do you think TSN/CTV will use their own guys for the Women’s World Cup next year?

        • How many games will they show?
          Besides the Canada games, who’s going to watch. I would think the halftime ad rates for Burma–Nigeria would be pretty low.

          CBC could show all the games as it would be fine if they made a loss. TSN/CTV could likely make more money putting on Sportscentre re-runs or soap operas or whatever.

        • Maybe for Canada games. Could certainly see them using Wileman and de Vos there. Not the rest though.

          I’m sure they will show all the games. TSN will have 5 channels. Probably only the final and maybe some weekend Canada games on CTV though.

  8. Love the international feed. Nice and clean. Just commentary. No hype. The matches speak for themselves, I just need play-by-play. Not impressed with CBC’s daytime studio staff. Andi Petrillo is in over her head. I thought she would be better but she uses the same clichés as on Hockey Night In Canada. Nigel Reed offers nothing and the other guy talks so much that they’ve missed the second half kick-off a few times because he’s still friggin’ yapping!

    • If you want to see guys offering nothing watch Adrian Chiles and Ian Wright and Rio Ferdinand on the UK TV feeds. Cringeworthy banter at its best/worst.

  9. Well, it’s US vs Portugal today, and we should be out already and looking for a nice place or bar to watch this battle. And this will be an epic battle for sure.

    • Perry

      This won’t be a epic battle both teams move on if they draw and many think there going to play a very simply game so players don’t get hurt going into the round of 16.

  10. Josh, I know this is off-topic, but I was wondering about the Rays-Yankees game tomorrow night. It’s listed on both TSN and Sportsnet. Which network has that game, or is it on both networks. If it’s on TSN, they pick up ESPN’s telecast, if it’s Sportsnet, they utilize one of the regional network’s telecast, in this case it’s likely the YES network. If TSN has it, would then Sportsnet have to pick up another game?


  11. The broadcast are good, the matches are outstanding, the ref’s – not so much ( not all but a few ) the commentary is great, they should have included Steve B, he is really good, Helm is a bit dry but Woods, Roder and Bloom are tops. It would have been a perfect world cup except for one – That A.Petrillo- she does not know when to shut the heck up, wayyy too much dribble, very annoying, Wat the fox say – zip it.


  12. So far, whenever it’s available, I always watch the ABC broadcasts of the World Cup. The World Feed that CBC uses for commentary with just one play by play commentator I absolutely atrocious and boring. Not to mention John Helm’s annoying voice that sounds like he’s just ran a marathon and wheezing when he’s out of breath.

    CBC should use ESPN/ABC’s commentary feed. Much more entertaining and engaging with a play by play and colour commentator.

  13. Do you know if TSN is picking up the U-19 European Championship? It airs from July 19-31.

Leave a Reply to canadiansportsmedia Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s