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Fox plans major coverage of Women's World Cup

United States' Abby Wambach reacts after missing a

United States' Abby Wambach reacts after missing a header on goal during the first half of a women's soccer international friendly match at Red Bull Arena, Sunday, May 30, 2015, in Harrison, N.J. Credit: Jason DeCrow

The Women's World Cup cannot match the men's version for visibility in general and television ratings in particular, but the event that opens Saturday and marks Fox's first World Cup for either gender does come with some significant advantages.

One is that unlike the men's tournament, the United States is among the favorites to win the trophy.

Another is that the event will be held in Canada, providing favorable time zones for American television viewers.

Fox certainly is all in, with a record 16 matches scheduled for its over-the-air broadcast mother ship. All 52 matches will be seen on Fox, Fox Sports 1 (29 matches) or Fox Sports 2 (seven).

The semifinals are in Montreal on June 30 (Fox) and Edmonton on July 1 (FS1). The final will be shown on Fox on July 5.

Fox plans nearly 200 total hours of coverage, including more than 60 features that will be rolled out during the month-long event.

The announcing crew for the United States' three group stage matches June 8, 12 and 16 will be JP Dellacamera, Cat Whitehill and Tony DiCicco. Fox's studio coverage will be based in Vancouver, site of the championship match.

The previous five Women's World Cups had been carried by ESPN/ABC, with the last broadcast coverage on ABC coming in 2003.

ESPN plans extensive coverage despite the fact it no longer has live game rights, highlighted by contributions from three members of the last U.S. team to win in 1999: Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly and Kate Markgraf.

Fox will be the English-language American TV home for the next three men's World Cups, starting in Russia in 2018.

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