November 2 – FIFA have concluded a five-year TV deal with public broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) for rights to all its events starting with the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and concluding with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Rights also include the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, the 2021 Confederations Cup and other tournaments, though there is doubt over the future of the Confederations Cup which may be sacrificed to make way for an enlarged Club World Cup.
Similarly FIFA is thinking about merging its youth competitions into one age group but playing it annually as a 48-team championship – though it seems unlikely this would come into the current rights cycle.
China failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup despite a resurgence at the end of its qualifying campaign. The country has ambition to host the competition with 2030 being the likely earliest date. Before then the country has said it wants to be at the top regional and word tournaments with a competitive team.
CCTV has been FIFA’s principal broadcast partner in China since 1978.
“Our new deal is expected to be helpful for China’s soccer reform plan, aiming to make soccer become an important part of Chinese Dream,” said CCTV’s Deputy Editor-in-Chief Peng Jianming. “The partnership shows our support for FIFA as well as our efforts to help raise the level of Chinese soccer.”
No value has been given for the deal which has not yet been officially announced by FIFA.
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