FIFA bosses unhappy with Women's World Cup TV rights bids

Craig Hanson 3 months ago

The global governing body has been left disappointed by bids from broadcasters for the 2023 edition

FIFA has started evaluating bids from broadcasters for the 2023 Women's World Cup, set to take place in Australia and New Zealand next year, and executives are not best pleased with the offerings so far. Bosses have called on suitors to submit improved rights offers after rejecting existing bids.

The final of the 2019 edition in France garnered a record 1.12bn viewers and overall viewership for the women's game in 2022 has reached record highs, something FIFA is hoping to capitalise on.

However, FIFA believes that current offers from broadcasters aren't matching that demand. On the other hand, with the tournament taking place in Australia and New Zealand, some are concerned about the impact which time differences could have on viewership. This could explain broadcasters' tentative initial bids.

FIFA Chief Business Officer, Romy Gai discussed the matter further in a recent interview:

“This is not a case of being priced out, but rather testament to a lack of willingness of broadcasters to pay what the women’s game deserves."

“Audience figures show that the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France was a catalyst for change in terms of TV audience. A combined 1.12 billion viewers tuned into official broadcast coverage across all platforms of the final between America and the Netherlands, which became the most watched FIFA Women’s World Cup match ever.”

Romy Gai also discussed the difference in media rights values between men's and women's football. He specifically claimed that UK broadcasters pay roughly 2% for women's football TV rights what they pay for the men's game, despite the audience for women's football being around 20% what it is for men's.

Some have been skeptical about FIFA's motives, claiming that the governing body is simply looking for more money from broadcasters, and less interested in championing the women's game.

As the popularity of women's football grows, media rights for events will continue to become more lucrative and expensive for broadcasters.

Whether or not they will be forced to cough up more cash to get access to the Women's World Cup 2023 remains to be seen, but as it stands FIFA is not happy with the figures being mentioned.

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