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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Apple Reportedly Close To Winning Broadcast Rights for Club World Cup

  • FIFA’s Club World Cup has faced numerous delays.
  • Deal would be well under what FIFA hoped, according to the 'Times.'
Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Apple’s latest foray into soccer could be historic. 

Two years after Apple agreed to a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal for Major League Soccer’s global streaming rights, The New York Times reported the technology company is nearing a deal with FIFA for the worldwide television rights for its new Club World Cup, which will debut in the summer of 2025. The United States will host the tournament. 

The tournament itself has been years in the making and faced a rash of delays, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented it from being played in China in 2021. The value of the broadcast deal “might be as little as a quarter of the $4 billion FIFA had first estimated,” the Times reported; it’s unclear if the games will be behind an Apple+ paywall. Apple has an MLS Season Pass fans could purchase for $14.99 per month in-season or $99 for the entire season. Apple+ subscribers get a slight monthly ($12.99) and yearly ($79.99) discount. 

The deal would be FIFA’s first time selling rights to one company instead of slicing them up in several packages across the globe. It would also expand Apple’s sports footprint, as the company already has a streaming deal with Major League Baseball in addition to MLS. The tournament is scheduled for June and July, featuring top clubs from around the world, including recent Champions League winners.

FIFA’s grand plan isn’t quite matching its dreams, yet. According to the Times, sponsors have been “reluctant”  to fork over the $150 million sought for sponsorship deals, as the tournament has been repeatedly delayed and tweaked.

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