FIFA, global soccer’s governing body, has opened two tender processes in sub-Saharan Africa covering media rights to its next two World Cups.

One process covers rights to the 2026 men’s FIFA World Cup, to take place in Mexico, the US, and Canada, and the other concerns rights for the women’s edition (WWC) in 2027 (host/s as yet unallocated).

The bid submission deadline for both tenders is 11:00 am Central European Time on December 13, and specific invitations to tender (ITT) can be requested by interested parties by contacting subsaharamediarights@fifa.org.

The previous men’s World Cup, Qatar 2022, saw an African side – Morocco – reach the semi-final stage for the first time, while Senegal made it through to the round of 16. For the 2026 tournament, at least nine African sides (potentially 10) will qualify – indeed, the African qualifying process commenced earlier this month, with a revamped format.

For Qatar 2022, the main sub-Saharan media rights packages were held by SuperSport for English-language coverage, and New World TV for French-language. New World TV then struck multiple carriage deals with country-specific broadcasters all over the region.

TV Media Sport also held distribution rights in five countries in the sub-Saharan market for that tournament.

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For the 2027 Women’s World Cup, meanwhile, South Africa are one of the countries to have submitted an expression of interest in hosting – no African country has ever put on games from a WWC before. The successful bidder is expected to be unveiled in May next year.

At the 2023 WWC earlier this year in Australia and New Zealand, three African nations (Nigeria, South Africa, and Morocco) made it through to the knockout stages.

For that tournament, the predominant rights-holders in sub-Saharan Africa were also New World TV and SuperSport.

Earlier this month, FIFA opened tenders covering the same two tournaments – as well as ones in 2030 and 2031, potentially – in South Korea. That process has a deadline of December 5.

In late October, meanwhile, free-to-air Australian broadcaster SBS announced it would remain the exclusive men’s World Cup broadcast partner through 2026.

For the Africa-zone qualifiers in advance of the 2026 World Cup, Iris Sport Media was appointed as a sales agent for those fixtures (across the Americas, Europe, and Asia) earlier this week.

All 273 African qualifying matches for the World Cup are included in the rights package Iris has secured.

Austrian public-service broadcaster ORF this week became the latest network to secure rights to the 2026 World Cup.