You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

World Cup TV guide: the presenters, pundits and what’s on where

The Guardian logo The Guardian 10/06/2018 Paul MacInnes
Gary Lineker © PA Gary Lineker

English football fans have spurned the chance to visit Russia in their droves. According to Fifa, more match tickets have been sold to Peruvians than they have to fans of England, the UK’s sole representatives at the tournament. The English are staying at home and perhaps that’s to do with the political climate, or maybe the substantial cost. It’s also worth considering, however, that they’re expressing the conscious preference to watch the World Cup in the company of Clive Tyldesley.

MSN has launched a campaign to tackle loneliness, which affects 9 million across all age groups and walks of life in the UK. Discover more on this 'silent epidemic': Please donate now

ITV and the BBC are sharing the rights for World Cup 2018, which means UK viewers can once again enjoy one of the more genial rivalries in broadcasting. With matches running from 11am to 9pm and highlights shows on top, there’s a lot to watch. Here’s how it all breaks down.

The presenters

Gary Lineker will helm the BBC’s coverage, as he has in every tournament since before records began. He’ll be joined by Gabby Logan, who’ll be keeping an eye on England for however long they’re there, alongside Dan Walker and Jason Mohammad, who will have roving briefs. ITV continue their controversial policy of having an actual journalist in charge of proceedings, with Mark Pougatch sitting in the big chair. The former BBC commentator Jacqui Oatley will be alongside him, while the reporters include the veteran Gabriel Clarke and rising star Seema Jaswal.

Watch: Dier: Healthy competition for places (Sky Sports)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

The pundits

The big news is that ITV have Gary Neville. The Sky pundit has been poached for the summer by Pougatch and co, as has Match of the Day’s Ian Wright. In fact, given that most pundits are sole traders, there’s a lot of channel switching going on: the BBC have BT Sport’s Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, too. In the “popular pundits who only appear at tournaments” department, we’ll see Martin O’Neill and Slaven Bilic on ITV, while the Beeb have Jürgen Klinsmann. In welcome diversification-from-all-those-blokes news, the impressive Alex Scott is part of the BBC team, while there will be intrigue around Eni Aluko’s addition to the ITV corpus. And in the wildcard department? That’s Didier Drogba for the BBC and Mr Instagram, Patrice Evra, on ITV.

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 10:  Patrice Evra of France gestures to the fans during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group A match between France and Romania at Stade de France on June 10, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) © Catalyst PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 10: Patrice Evra of France gestures to the fans during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group A match between France and Romania at Stade de France on June 10, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The commentators

We’ve mentioned Tyldesley already and he’ll be joined on ITV by Sam Matterface and Jon Champion. Glenn Hoddle, Ally McCoist and Iain Dowie will be ITV’s co-commentators. The BBC’s lineup will be equally familiar, with Guy Mowbray joined by Jonathan Pearce, Simon Brotherton et al, but there is also a slot for Vicki Sparks, who will become the first woman to commentate at a World Cup on British TV. Mark Lawrenson and Kevin Kilbane co-commentate.

The games

Since Euro 2012 the channels have agreed to take it in turns to have first pick of matches, and this time it’s the Beeb’s go. That means they get two of England’s group matches, against Tunisia and Panama, while ITV get the opening match and all the pomp and grandeur that Russia v Saudi Arabia entails. ITV get the first two picks in the round of 16 and Auntie the first pick of the quarters (i.e. England, should they get that far). ITV pick up their preferred choice of the semis, then the pair come together in the traditional, pointless act of showing the final on both channels.

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Eniola Aluko with the WSL Trophy after a WSL match between Bristol City Women and Chelsea Ladies at the Stoke Gifford Stadium on May 15, 2018 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Chelsea Football Club/Chelsea FC via Getty Images) © Catalyst BRISTOL, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Eniola Aluko with the WSL Trophy after a WSL match between Bristol City Women and Chelsea Ladies at the Stoke Gifford Stadium on May 15, 2018 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Chelsea Football Club/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Radio

Not meaning to demean the wireless by listing it all the way down here, but the BBC have it all to themselves so you don’t have much of a choice. Mark Chapman and Kelly Cates head up the coverage on 5 Live, which will be live – the clue’s in the name – from every match. There’s a strong list of co-commentators in Chris Waddle, Terry Butcher, Dion Dublin, Chris Sutton and Pat Nevin, but sadly Robbie Savage is getting his own breakfast show.

Digital

There’s this thing called the internet and people are putting content onto it. ITV will serve up 10 podcasts helmed by Pougatch and Oatley alongside a coterie of guests (though obviously they won’t be a patch on our daily Football Weekly shows). More interestingly, perhaps, they will look to recreate the highlights of the tournament through the medium of freestyle football with performers the F2. The Beeb meanwhile have put Alex Scott in charge of their Instagram stories and will put highlights from every game on YouTube.

Gallery: Ranked! The 21 most shocking World Cup moments EVER (FourFourTwo)

MSN Loneliness Campaign: Who's affected and how is loneliness being tackled? Discover more and please donate now


AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Guardian

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon