BBC announces 2018 World Cup pundit lineup with trendy social media video

On Monday, it was ITV. On Wednesday, it’ll be the FA. Tuesday is the turn of BBC Sport.

It’s a week of Russia World Cup squad announcements, and while we wait for Gareth Southgate to name his 23-man squad on Wednesday afternoon, the broadcasters are doing their bit right now.

On Monday, ITV announced their lineup with the likes of Patrice Evra, Martin O’Neill and Eni Aluko joining the Mark Pougatch and the team in Russia. Tuesday was the turn of the BBC, whose lineup announcement borrowed plenty from the world of football and social media that will most likely take over your screens and newsfeeds for an entire month this summer.

Using the premise of an announcement by WhatsApp group – just as Aston Villa did last summer when announcing John Terry as a new signing – the BBC opted to have Gary Lineker organise a group in order to get as many huge names to join the coverage.

From Frank Lampard getting Didier Drogba on board, a ‘real’ Tottenham legend in Jurgen Klinsmann (as opposed to Jermaine Jenas or Lineker himself), and Rio Ferdinand, the list of names is stellar.

But perhaps the star of the show is the Pablo Zabaleta segment. The Manchester City legend and current West Ham star is pictured on the phone confirming he’s coming to Russia to join the BBC’s coverage – with the comic strip overlay and techno music made famous by Besiktas’ ‘Come to Besiktas’ transfer videos.

Russia 2018 World Cup

As mentioned yesterday during the ITV coverage, this World Cup will be a true social media extravaganza. No one needs to be told that Twitter et al. will play an important role, but with almost-live highlights clips being seeded onto social media by rights holders to allow fans to follow all the action on social media pretty much as it happens, it won’t just be a simultaneous conversation that happens on social – it’ll be an integral part of the experience itself.

ITV will have the F2Freestylers and their millions of YouTube subscribers and Facebook followers. The BBC, who already have a formidable digital machine in place, are likely to be ramping that up even more for this event.

With tonnes of broadcasters and publishers using their biggest names to promote live TV action, written articles on websites, social media coverage and even podcasts, this World Cup will be a non-stop feast of football that fans will be able to consume in almost every waking moment.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 716 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

You might also like

Tales from the Unexpected – Leaders Week at Stamford Bridge

Tales and learnings from Leaders Week 2018 at Stamford Bridge.

Snack Media selected by the PFA to run first ever monthly women’s award in their 111-year history

Snack Media – a leading independent sports digital media company and fan engagement experts – has been tasked by the Professional Footballers’ Association of England and Wales (PFA) to launch

Not the time for posts: What do players do on social media when results go wrong?

When results go wrong on the pitch, what should players be posting off it? Atheer Al-Salim of Ear to the Ground investigates.