Fox to broadcast Fifa eWorld Cup stateside
Fox Sports, the US pay-television network, has signed a deal to broadcast this year’s esports soccer Fifa eWorld Cup, along with other Fifa 19 Global Series events, in its home market.
Fox has acquired television and streaming rights for the 2019 Fifa eWorld Cup, along with "the finals of multiple…. Fifa 19 Global Series events", it has been announced.
This weekend’s Fifa eNations Cup in London is the first event covered by the new partnership, and will be available live on Fox Sports 2.
Fox’s coverage will end with the official Fifa eWorld Cup later in the summer.
Meanwhile, Caffeine, a start-up live-streaming platform in which Fox invested $100 million late last year, has secured the global streaming rights for every Fifa 19 Global Series event, as well as for the eWorld Cup, in 2019.
Caffeine received the investment from Fox in September 2018, and Fox executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch – son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch – has joined Caffeine’s board. Included in the deal were plans for the two companies to work together to develop a programming studio called Caffeine Studios.
Joe Franzetta, vice-president of rights and business relationships at Fox Sports, said: “This is a great opportunity to expand our ongoing connection with FIFA and our esports presence together with Caffeine. We kicked things off last weekend with the EA Sports FUT Champions Cup from London, and we are ready to go with this weekend’s FIFA eNations Cup.”
The Fifa eWorld Cup is a rebranded and reformatted version of Fifa's Interactive World Cup, established in 2004. Held annually ever since, the competition's final in 2017 was live-streamed on Twitch, the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform. Past editions of the eWorld Cup have also been shown on YouTube, the video platform owned by Google.
Fox drew a peak audience of 46,000 viewers for its coverage of the final of the 2016 FIWC. The event is also now televised by Sky, the UK pay-TV operator.
This year's Fifa eWorld Cup Grand Final will be held at the O2 arena in London between 2 and 4 August.