Wednesday October 4, 2023

FIFA Threatens Women’s World Cup Blackout in Europe’s ‘Big 5’

  • FIFA demanded that European broadcasters offer more for Women's World Cup games.
  • The tournament begins in July.
Apr 8, 2023; Austin, Texas, USA; U.S. Women's National Team midfielder Julie Ertz (8) moves the ball against Republic of Ireland Women's National Team midfielder Denise O'Sullivan (10) during the second half at Q2 Stadium.
Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports
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FIFA is prepared to kick broadcasts of the Women’s World Cup out of Europe if it doesn’t get its price.

“It is our moral and legal obligation not to undersell the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in an Instagram post on Monday, echoing statements he made at the World Trade Organization in Geneva. 

Infantino described offers from Europe’s “Big 5” countries — England, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy — as “very disappointing,” noting that while the women’s tournament draws “50-60%” of the viewership garnered by the men’s edition, broadcasters “offer only $1 million to $10 million” for the women’s competition, as opposed to “$100-200 million for the men’s.”

Infantino said that all rights fees would go toward prize money and promoting women’s soccer. 

Women's World Cup.

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FIFA has signed 156 broadcast deals connected to the tournament, including ones in other European countries such as Hungary, Sweden, and Belgium, according to Bloomberg.

A recent friendly match between the French and Canadian women’s teams drew a record 1.4 million viewers. The NWSL saw a record average viewership of 915,000 for its championship game last year.

The prize money for this year’s Women’s World Cup will be $152 million — triple what it was in 2019 and more than 10 times greater than the purse in 2015 — but still a far cry from the $440 million doled out at the men’s tournament last year.

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