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The action on the pitch at the 2022 FIFA World Cup final was some of the best we’ve ever seen in sports. While that was going on, Fox was sweating as ArgentinaFrance crept closer and closer to the 1 PM ET NFL window.

With a 10 AM ET kickoff, there was plenty of time for the soccer match to end, but lengthy stoppage time periods, plus 30 minutes of extra time and a penalty shootout made things a bit tense for those at Fox headquarters (and probably those at the NFL). Luckily for Fox, the match ended with Argentina winning 4-2 in a penalty shootout about five minutes before Fox’s NFL broadcasts were supposed to start.

It came with a couple of casualties, though, which resulted in some fan complaints on the NFL and soccer sides. Fox NFL Sunday didn’t air. Anyone who visited the Fox Sports app hoping to see the pregame crew online was treated to a screen that said, “Your program is starting soon. Please stand by.”

While some NFL fans were upset about that, some soccer fans were upset that the World Cup postgame show and trophy presentation would move to FS1 in favor of showing the NFL. Something that Fox Sports PR posted nearly an hour before that happened.

There’s much to criticize Fox about with their World Cup coverage, but this was the best they could do given the circumstances. Their top priority is to have the on-field gameplay on Fox, and that’s what happened. Anything that didn’t air or was pushed to cable was studio analysis or off-field celebrations. And even though it would’ve been nice to see the GOAT Lionel Messi lift the World Cup trophy on broadcast TV, it wasn’t going to keep the NFL off the air. Fox made the right decisions and had a little bit of luck go their way that the penalty shootout ended when it did.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp