Due to “disappointing” rights deals, FIFA has threatened to not broadcast the Women’s World Cup in several European nations this summer.
Unless media outlets improve on their “disappointing” bids for the rights, the top footballing nations in Europe will not be aired at this year’s Women’s World Cup, according to FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Infantino stated late on Monday that the “Big 5” European nations of England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France’s offers were unacceptable to the international governing body of football and a “slap in the face” to the players and “all women worldwide.”
“Therefore, should the offers continue not to be fair, we will be forced not to broadcast the FIFA Women’s World Cup into the ‘big five’ European countries.”
After asserting that the proposals received were substantially less than those for the previous men’s World Cup, Infantino retracted his warning.
In contrast to the £80m-£160m ($100m-$200m) that was given for the rights to the men’s World Cup, Infantino said that broadcasters from the “big five” European nations had only offered £800,000 — £8million ($1m-$10m) for the women’s World Cup.
“To be very clear, it is our moral and legal obligation not to undersell the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Infantino said at a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva.
“Therefore, should the offers continue not to be fair, we will be forced not to broadcast the FIFA Women’s World Cup into the ‘Big 5’ European countries.”
The fact that midday matches in Australia and New Zealand are being played in the wee hours of the morning in Europe does provide a problem for European broadcasters regarding game scheduling.
Though Infantino acknowledged that European slots were not primetime, they still represented “quite a reasonable time” for viewers.