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Friday April 12, 2024

Women's World Cup to air in 34 European countries following FIFA-EBU agreement

FIFA President expressed his delight at expanding the partnership with the European Broadcasting Union

By Web Desk
June 15, 2023
Womens World Cup to air in 34 European countries following FIFA-EBU.—fifa.com
Women's World Cup to air in 34 European countries following FIFA-EBU.—fifa.com

FIFA has made an unprecedented announcement regarding the broadcast of the highly anticipated 2023 Women's World Cup. The organisation has reached a groundbreaking agreement with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to televise the tournament across 34 European countries. 

This landmark deal successfully resolves the recent dispute between FIFA and broadcasters in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, ensuring that fans in these "Big Five" nations will not experience a blackout during the competition, which will take place in Australia and New Zealand from July to August.

Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA, expressed his delight at expanding the partnership with the European Broadcasting Union. He emphasised the inclusion of major markets such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine. Infantino underlined that the agreement would provide maximum exposure for the tournament. However, specific financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Earlier negotiations with broadcasters in the "Big Five" European countries had faced challenges, with FIFA expressing dissatisfaction over the comparatively lower offers received for the broadcasting rights of the women's World Cup, as opposed to the men's. One hurdle encountered was the time difference, with many matches scheduled for the early morning in Europe. Nonetheless, Infantino dismissed this as an excuse and prioritised ensuring comprehensive coverage of the Women's World Cup.

In October of the previous year, FIFA and the EBU had already reached an agreement covering 28 countries. The expanded list, announced recently, now includes 34 nations. However, notable European countries participating in the World Cup, such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Portugal, were excluded from the deal.

The involvement of the EBU in this broadcasting agreement is significant as it comprises networks that broadcast matches on free-to-air channels rather than subscription-based platforms. FIFA listed renowned broadcasters, including ARD and ZDF in Germany, BBC and ITV in the United Kingdom, France Televisions, RAI in Italy, RTVE in Spain, and M6 in France (although not part of the EBU), as official broadcasters.

EBU Director General Noel Curran expressed the organisation's commitment to closely collaborating with FIFA to ensure extensive viewership of the Women's World Cup across the continent. He described the tournament as one of the most exciting and rapidly growing events in the world of sports, emphasising the EBU's aim to make the women's game accessible to as many people as possible.