FIFA Threatens Women’s World Cup Blackout

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According to FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Europe’s top football nations face a broadcast blackout for this year’s Women’s World Cup unless media organizations improve their “disappointing” offers for the rights.

Offers from the “Big Five” European countries — the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France — were rejected as a “slap in the face” to the players and “all women worldwide,” according to Infantino.
“To be very clear, it is our moral and legal obligation not to undersell the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Infantino said during a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva.

“As a result, if the offers continue to be unfavorable, we will be forced to forego broadcasting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the ‘Big Five’ European countries.”

Australia and New Zealand will co-host the World Cup, which begins on July 20.

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Infantino stated that broadcasters had only offered between $1 million and $10 million USD for the rights, compared to $100 million to $200 million for the rights to the men’s World Cup.
Because of the time zone difference, women’s World Cup matches will be held outside of prime viewing hours for European markets, but Infantino said that was no excuse.

“Maybe … It is not played during prime time in Europe, but it is played at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m., so it is a reasonable time,” he explained.

According to a FIFA audit of the tournament, 1.12 billion viewers watched the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France across all platforms.

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