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FIFA launch Men’s World Cup broadcast tender process in Balkans

Published: Updated: 07:07, 2 May 2024
FIFA have completed tender process in most parts of Europe

FIFA, the global governing body for soccer, has initiated the tender process for media rights in eight Balkan markets for its upcoming two men's FIFA World Cups. The move marks a significant step towards expanding the reach of this globally celebrated sporting event.

The tender process covers TV rights for national team tournaments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Entities interested in participating have until 10am Central European Time on June 4 to submit their bids. They can obtain necessary documentation by emailing fwc-media-rights@fifa.org.

Previously held by various free-to-air and public broadcast networks through an overall deal between the European Broadcasting Union and FIFA; these rights pertain to broadcasting World Cup matches.

Upcoming World Cup add a new dimension to broadcaster

The men’s tournament in 2026 will be hosted across Mexico, US and Canada while Spain, Portugal and Morocco are set to host most of the games of the 2030 edition. The opening games of this centenary celebration will take place in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Out of all eight Balkan countries where tenders have been launched now; Croatia and Serbia had qualified for Qatar 2022 with Croatia reaching semi-finals before being defeated by Argentina who emerged as eventual winners.

With an enlarged format planned for the 2026 edition – featuring 48 teams instead of Qatar's 32 – it is expected that up to16 European teams will qualify for this North American event.

Recent developments in media rights acquisition

This latest development follows closely on from a similar tender process launched mid-April covering Indonesia which included not only rights to broadcast matches from both upcoming men’s tournaments but also those from FIFA Women’s World Cup matches scheduled in 2027 and 2031.

In the UK, a similar process was launched in April for rights to the next two men's World Cups with a deadline for submissions from UK broadcasters set for April 29. Meanwhile, French media company Groupe M6 secured exclusive Free-To-Air (FTA) rights to air the 2026 and 2030 World Cups in March.

The tender process initiated by FIFA is an important step towards ensuring that football fans across these eight Balkan countries have access to live broadcasts of their favorite teams' matches. It also presents an opportunity for broadcasters to secure valuable media rights, thereby enhancing their sports content offerings.

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