October 21 – FIFA has rejected TV bids for next year’s Women’s World Cup for being too low, instead going back to the market urging broadcasters to invest more.
“This is not a case of being priced out, but rather testament to a lack of willingness of broadcasters to pay what the women’s game deserves,” said FIFA’s Romy Gai in a recent interview with Bloomberg. FIFA has turned down offers in Germany, the UK and France.
“Audience figures show that the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France was a catalyst for change in terms of TV audience,” said Gai.
“A combined 1.12 billion viewers tuned into official broadcast coverage across all platforms of the final between America and the Netherlands, which became the most watched FIFA Women’s World Cup match ever,” he continued.
“We know the opportunity for women’s football is there. Now, together, we need to capture it.”
FIFA wants to capitalise on the success of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, which was played out in front of big crowds and sizeable TV interest.
FIFA expanded the format of the finals to 32 teams and awarded the 2023 hosting rights to Australia and New Zealand following a bidding race that included Japan.
With women’s football enjoying a boom, FIFA is keen to monetize the next finals’ but the time zone as well as broadcasters who are finding acquisition budgets stretched may thwart those plans.
FIFA expects this 2023 tournament to be the first time the Women’s World Cup financially breaks even.
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