World Cup Final; NFL Saturday Games: What's On This Weekend in TV Sports (December 17-18)

Randal Kolo Muani of France scores the team's second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semi final match between France and Morocco.
Randal Kolo Muani of France scores the team's second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semi final match between France and Morocco. (Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The World Cup final and NFL Saturday and Sunday games dominate this weekend’s live TV sports action.

Fox on Sunday morning will televise the FIFA World Cup final game between Argentina and France, as well as Saturday’s third-place game between Morocco and Croatia. Fox is coming off a record-breaking week of World Cup coverage that saw the network average 6.5 million viewers for its two semi-final telecasts – the highest viewership for any World Cup on U.S. airwaves, according to the Sports Business Journal. 

On the pro football field, NFL Network will offer a week 15 Saturday tripleheader of games. Network coverage starts with the Indianapolis Colts-Minnesota Vikings game, continues with the Baltimore Ravens-Cleveland Browns contest, and concludes with the Miami Dolphins-Buffalo Bills matchup.

On Sunday, Fox and CBS will offer regional afternoon NFL coverage, followed by NBC's Sunday Night Football game between NFC East division rivals New York Giants and Washington Commanders. 

In the ring, Showtime on Saturday will air a fight card featuring a lightweight main event bout between Michel Rivera and Frank Martin. ESPN Plus will stream a super middleweight fight between Christian Mbilli and Vaughn Alexander. 

ESPN Plus on Saturday will also steam a UFC Fight Night mixed martial arts card featuring a Jared Cannonier-Sean Strickland middleweight main event bout. 

The college football bowl season kicks into high gear this weekend with seven games. ESPN will televise the Fenway Bowl (Cincinnati-Louisville), the Las Vegas Bowl (Florida-Oregon State), Lending Tree Bowl (Rice-Southern Miss) and Frisco Bowl (North Texas-Boise St.), while ABC will air the New Mexico Bowl (SMU-BYU), LA Bowl (Washington State-Fresno State), and Celebration Bowl (Jackson St-NC Central). 

Also on the college football front, NBC and Peacock will carry the HBCU Pigskin Showdown all-star game from Alabama. 

On the ice, ESPN will televise the New York Rangers-Chicago Blackhawks NHL game while on the links, NBC will offer final round weekend coverage of the PNC Championship Pro-Am tournament. Tiger Woods will team up with his son Charlie as one of 20 teams in the family-themed golf event. ■ 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.