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FIFA launch in-flight and in-ship media rights tender for 2026, 2027 World Cups

Published: Updated: 08:22, 12 Jun 2024
IMG strong favourites again to renew their association with FIFA

FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, has initiated the tender process for worldwide in-ship and in-flight media rights to its World Cups scheduled for 2026 (men’s) and 2027 (women’s). The deadline set by FIFA for bid submissions is July 2 at 12pm Central European Time.

The men's World Cup 2026 matches are slated to be held across Mexico, Canada, and the US. Following this event, Brazil will host the women's edition in 2027. This decision was made during a vote at the FIFA Congress held in mid-May.

IMG's long-standing partnership with FIFA

IMG, a renowned sports and entertainment agency has been holding these rights exclusively over the last decade-and-a-half. Their partnership with FIFA began back in late 2009 when they first secured an agreement to distribute exclusive in-flight and ship-at-sea rights for the World Cup of 2010. Since then, their contract has been renewed on a regular basis.

IMG distributes content through its dedicated Sport24 channel which caters specifically to audiences aboard top-tier cruise companies and airlines globally.

Their most recent renewal with FIFA occurred last year in March covering media rights distribution of Women's World Cup matches across Australia and New Zealand scheduled for this year. Additionally, Sport24 also covered broadcasting duties during men’s tournament held recently in Qatar.

IMG & UEFA collaboration can change dynamics

In April end this year IMG announced an alliance with UEFA - European soccer’s governing body - that covers broadcasting rights of men’s national team tournament - Euro Championship set to take place next year. As part of this deal Sport24 along with its additional channel – Sport24 Extra will broadcast more than fifty Euro 2024 matches from this twenty-four team tournament scheduled to be held in Germany between June 14 and July 14.

Sport24 also broadcasts other sports events including motor racing’s Formula 1, ice hockey’s NHL, and UK tennis’ Wimbledon among others.

FIFA has recently conducted a tender process for media rights in eight Balkan markets for its upcoming two men’s World Cups. The countries included Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia with a deadline of June 4 set for bids. This was followed by similar tenders in Indonesia and the UK.

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