FIFA Rejects Tv Bids For Women’s World Cup

Women’s football has been smashing attendance and viewing records after surging in popularity. 

 Fifa, world football’s governing body, rejected recent bids for the television rights to the 2023 Women’s World Cup as too low and challenged broadcasters to offer better value.

“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,” Romy Gai, Fifa’s chief partnerships and media officer, said in an interview. 

Fifa has already turned down offers to broadcast the tournament in Italy, Germany, France and the UK and expects a similar outcome in Spain, Gai said. He declined to say which broadcasters had submitted bids for games.

The draw for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will take place this weekend. Because of the time difference, evening games will air much earlier in the day in Europe, making it harder for some people to watch.

Women’s football has been smashing attendance and viewing records after surging in popularity. A record 3.6 million fans tuned into the final of the Women’s Champions League in May, and the Women’s Euro 2022 also set records for attendances and TV viewers.

“Audience figures show that the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France was a catalyst for change in terms of TV audience,” Gai said.

“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.”

A large discrepancy remains between broadcast payments for the men’s and women’s games, according to Gai. He said that for women’s matches in the UK, broadcasters pay roughly 2 per cent of what they do for the men’s equivalent. That’s despite the women’s audience being equal to about 20 per cent of the men’s.

Official Fifa figures show the 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia generated roughly US$3 billion (S$4.28 billion) in broadcast revenue, whereas the equivalent 2019 women’s competition brought in about US$300 million.

“We know the opportunity for women’s football is there,” said Gai. “Now, together, we need to capture it.”

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