According to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl and Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, FOX has won the English-language United States broadcasting rights to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup, beating out NBC and ESPN. ABC and ESPN have held the rights to every World Cup in the United States since 1994, the year the tournament was held in the United States, but someone has finally out-bid them for the broadcast rights if SBJ and Wahl's sources are correct.
ESPN's coverage of the tournament in 2010 was widely praised, as they brought in analysts such as Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez and now current United States men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann as analysts. They also hired Ian Darke and Martin Tyler as play by play announcers, with the former being hired permanently.
FOX has the most extensive coverage of soccer in the United States in English at present with FOX Soccer Channel, as well as their FOX Soccer Plus and FOXSoccer.tv services. They have also begun to use FX as a way to show more sports programming, so it will be interesting to see how FOX decides to distribute their World Cup coverage across their properties, should these reports be confirmed as true.