Fox Sports appoints Horowitz’s replacement, signs World Cup partnerships

The Fox Sports division of US network Fox has appointed Mark Silverman to the position of president of national networks, along with signing partnerships with Twitter, Snapchat and Hisense to bolster its coverage of the 2018 Fifa World Cup national team football tournament.

Silverman (pictured) has been in the Fox Sports family for over 11 years and currently serves as president of the Big Ten Network, a joint venture between Fox Sports and the Big Ten Conference, where he has overseen all aspects of the college sports network since its inception in 2007.

Silverman will assume his new role effective January 16 and will oversee all programming, production, marketing, and digital for Fox, FS1 and FS2 live events and studio shows. He will also retain his current responsibilities at BTN.

He essentially steps into the role previously filled by Jamie Horowitz, who was fired as head of programming in July in the wake of an investigation into a claim of sexual harassment.

In other news, Fox Sports, the exclusive English-language home in the US of the 2018 World Cup, has signed agreements with social media platforms Twitter and Snapchat for this year’s tournament in Russia.

Fox Sports will produce a 30-minute live show streamed exclusively on Twitter from Moscow’s Red Square each match day of the World Cup, which runs from June 14 to July 15. The show will provide match action previews, recaps and Twitter reaction as well as original segments produced by Fox’s team in Moscow.

This live coverage will be available in the United States to Twitter’s logged-in and logged-out audience and can be viewed via @FOXSports and @FOXSoccer on computers, tablets and mobile devices.

Fox will also provide near-live video highlights to Twitter for each game, including every goal scored as well as video featuring talent Q&As, player/coach interviews and press conference clips. Both the live show and video clips will include advertising packages on Twitter available for sponsors.

On Snapchat, Fox Sports will produce a Publisher Story that aims to chronicle the day-by-day drama of the month-long tournament. Viewers will relive the action via broadcast-level highlights and expert analysis of the must-see moments.

Snapchat will also produce World Cup ‘Our Stories,’ featuring video highlights of goals and other key moments from the tournament provided by Fox Sports alongside exclusive behind-the-scenes reactions from fans in Russia and those viewing at home around the world.

“These exciting collaborations with Twitter and Snapchat mark a major opportunity to leverage the world’s greatest sports moment and our talent beyond the TV screen,” Alexis Ginas, senior vice-president of cross-platform solutions at Fox Sports, said.

“Alongside our Fox Sports-owned properties, they’ll help amplify this summer’s incredible live events programming – 64 matches total at the Fifa World Cup.”

Meanwhile, Chinese consumer electronics company Hisense, an official sponsor of the 2018 World Cup, has signed a strategic partnership with Fox Sports to bring its consumers an enhanced viewing experience, leading up to and during the tournament.

Hisense will offer consumers the Fox Sports Go: 2018 Fifa World Cup Edition app, which will be available exclusively on select Hisense Smart TV models, and will give consumers access to Fox Sports' World Cup content. The app will be preloaded directly onto select Hisense Smart TVs starting in the spring, serving as a hub for this content.

The Hisense-exclusive Fox Sports Go: 2018 Fifa World Cup Edition app will allow Hisense consumers to experience multiple Fox Sports digital feeds, including the ability to choose from a variety of live viewing angles during games, such as feeds that focus on specific teams or aerial views. The app will feature live games and near-real-time highlights from 37 customisable camera angles and original content, all in 4K.

The United States has failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.