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FIFA Reaches Media Rights Deal To Avoid Women’s World Cup Blackout

  • FIFA had threatened a blackout of the tournament for Europe's "Big Five."
  • In the U.K., BBC and ITV will share the media rights to the summer festivities.
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Europe’s “Big Five” soccer countries — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. — are finally set to broadcast the 2023 Women’s World Cup from Australia and New Zealand.

On Wednesday, the international soccer federation announced that it has agreed to extend its partnership with the European Broadcasting Union that will see the tournament shown across EBU’s free-to-air-linear network across 34 European territories.

In October, the two had agreed to a deal that included 28 European entities, but the revised deal will include the “Big Five,” as well as Ukraine.

“This [new deal] will provide a huge promotional and exposure opportunity for women’s football,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said, “which is a top priority for us in line with FIFA’s commitment to the long-term development of the sport.”

Infantino had previously threatened to black out the tournament in Europe’s biggest soccer markets due to lowball offers from the country’s media companies.

In the U.K., BBC and ITV will share the media rights to the summer festivities, splitting the games up until the World Cup final, which will be shown on both BBC1 and ITV1. The two companies are paying a reported $9 million to $10 million for the rights — at most, 6% of the rights to the men’s tournament, but an improvement from initial offers in the 1% to 2% range.

The Women’s World Cup — which begins July 20 — will also be shown on Germany’s ARD and ZDF, France Télévisions, Italy’s RAI, and Spain’s RTVE.

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