Infantino: ‘Women’s World Cup broadcast rights bids are unacceptable’

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has criticized broadcasters for what he calls unacceptably low offers for rights to screen the Women’s World Cup

Broadcasters were criticized by FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Saturday for what he called unacceptably low offers for rights to screen the Women´s World Cup next year.

Offers of just 1% of the value of men´s World Cup rights deals have been rejected, Infantino said, for the tournament that starts in July in Australia and New Zealand.

The men’s World Cup has driven FIFA’s expected overall income toward $7 billion for the four-year commercial cycle that ends in December after that tournament in Qatar.

“100 times less, even more than 100 times in some occasions, then this is not acceptable,” the FIFA leader said at a news conference ahead of the finals tournament draw. “I don´t want to mention them, but those who are there, they know it.”

The time zones in Australia and New Zealand mean many games, especially in the group stage, will be played in the nighttime hours in lucrative markets in Europe and the Americas.

“We are not going to accept this,” Infantino said of the broadcast offers, “because we know that the viewing figures for these broadcasters in some big footballing countries for the men´s World Cup or for the Women´s World Cup are actually very similar … meaning their commercial income is very similar for men and for women.”

FIFA, according to Infantino, are investing $1billion in this four-year cycle to develop women’s football across the globe.“It needs to be seriously looked at and we are not going to accept these offers, this must be very clear,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ll find ways to come to terms with it but it’s important that everyone puts actions behind words and we all start to treat women’s football the same way.”

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