The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the alliance of public service broadcasters, has secured free-to-air rights to the 2023 edition of soccer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in 28 countries.
The rights deal, announced today (October 24), includes broadcast across TV, digital, and radio. The agreement includes 32 EBU members and four radio members.
EBU members that will broadcast the Women’s World Cup are: RTSH (Albania); ORF (Austria); RTBF and VRT (Belgium/Luxembourg); BHRT (Bosnia/Herzegovina); BNT (Bulgaria); HRT (Croatia); CYBC (Cyprus); CT (Czech Republic); ERR (Estonia); GPB (Georgia); MTVA (Hungary); RÚV (Iceland); RTE (Ireland); RTV (Kosovo); LT (Latvia); LRT (Lithuania); PBS (Malta); TRM (Moldova); RTCG (Montenegro); MKRTV (North Macedonia); TVR (Romania); RTS (Serbia); RTVS (Slovakia); RTVS (Slovenia); SRG SSR (Switzerland/Liechtenstein); TRT (Turkey).
The four members that will offer additional radio coverage are BNR (Bulgaria); CR (Czech Republic); LR (Latvia); and Radio Romania.
The broadcasters have committed to providing "more coverage than ever before" with key matches of the tournament to be covered on free-to-air linear TV in all territories.
In many territories (including Switzerland and Ireland), EBU members will show the entire event free-to-air, with at least one match per day on free-to-air linear TV.
Highlights of the World Cup will be "widely accessible" in round-up and news programming, as well as on digital, while Eurovision News will support EBU members with a "large" output of news clips throughout the competition.
Under the agreement with FIFA, the EBU will additionally support the tournament with dedicated promotional activities.
Through the deal, FIFA extends a long-lasting partnership with the EBU which also had a similar deal for the 2019 World Cup. EBU members reported record audience figures and coverage of that tournament in France.
Earlier this year, EBU members generated record TV viewing figures for the UEFA Women’s Euro in England.
Sarai Bareman, FIFA chief women’s football officer, said: “The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is set to be one of the biggest women’s sporting events ever with the tournament shaping up to be another truly game-changing moment for women’s football and for fans around the world.
“Alongside FIFA’s ongoing commitment to accelerate the growth and development of women’s football, free-to-air broadcasters will play an important role in attracting new audiences and growing the women’s game. We look forward to working with the EBU and bringing the tournament and women’s football to new fans in the region.”
Glen Killane, executive director of Eurovision Sport, added: “The EBU and our members continue to be world leaders in the broadcast and streaming of women’s sport. Our members are constantly setting the standard and pushing new boundaries; it is something we have proudly driven for many years.
“This agreement will build on the great legacy of the extraordinary coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 where EBU members provided record audiences. Next year’s World Cup provides us with an opportunity to once again show that public service media is committed to ensuring that showcasing women’s football and women’s sport continues to be central to our mission.”
Last week, Romy Gai, FIFA’s chief business officer, told Bloomberg that the organization had rejected multiple bids from European broadcasters in key markets for rights to next year’s tournament because they were too low.
He specified that bids from broadcasters in the UK, Italy, Germany, and France had all been turned down while stating that a forthcoming Spanish bid is also likely to be rejected. Gai did not specify which networks had submitted these offers.
For the 2019 Women’s World Cup, FIFA generated $300 million in TV rights revenue.
The 2023 edition, which will be the first to feature 32 teams, will take place in Australia and New Zealand between July 20 and August 20.
Domestic rights have been snapped up by Optus in Australia, and by Sky in New Zealand, while deals have also been struck in the Netherlands, Poland, the Nordics, and the US.
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