FIFA have today announced that a deal to broadcast the 2023 Women’s World Cup in 34 countries in Europe has been agreed, following previous threats of a blackout in Europe of the competition
In a major breakthrough following a tense standoff, FIFA announces an expanded broadcasting deal for the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup which will now include major European markets. The agreement was made between the governing body of world football and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), covering France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine. This move aims at to ensure maximum exposure for the tournament and promotion for the growth of women’s football across the continent.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed his delight at widening the deal, stating, “FIFA is delighted to widen the deal with the European Broadcasting Union for the transmission of the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup to include the five major markets within their existing networks.” The financial details of the agreement, however, were not disclosed.
After months of negotiations…
The negotiations between FIFA and broadcasters in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom had faced difficulties, with the governing body criticising these countries for offering significantly lower amounts compared to the men’s World Cup broadcasting rights. Despite the challenge posed by the time difference between Australia and Europe, Infantino emphasized that it should not be used as an excuse.
Last October, FIFA and the EBU had initially struck a deal for 28 countries, and the newly expanded agreement now covers a total of 34 nations. Notably absent from the expanded list are several European nations competing in the World Cup, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Portugal.
The deal with the EBU primarily involves networks that broadcast on free-to-air channels rather than subscription platforms. The broadcasters listed by FIFA include ARD and ZDF in Germany, BBC and ITV in the UK, France Televisions, RAI in Italy, RTVE in Spain, and M6 in France, which is not part of the EBU.
Noel Curran, the director general of the EBU, expressed his commitment to promoting the women’s game across the continent, stating, “The FIFA Women’s World Cup is one of sport’s most exciting and fastest-growing events, and we are committed to working hand-in-hand with FIFA to ensure the women’s game is enjoyed by as many people as possible.”
The upcoming Women’s World Cup will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20. It will feature 32 teams for the first time. Additionally, the tournament will witness a significant increase in overall prize money for participating teams, rising to $150 million compared to $50 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2015. Despite this, the prize money remains considerably lower than that of the men’s World Cup, which offered $440 million in 2022.