Australian telecoms group Optus has become an official supporter of the upcoming FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup (WWC) in Australia and New Zealand, adding to its wide coverage and promotion of the tournament.

Under the agreement, Optus will be able to promote its range of telecom services during its domestic coverage of the flagship tournament, which will run from July 20 to August 20.

The group secured Australian rights to all 64 games in July 2021, which it will show through its subscription streaming service Optus Sports. One game per day, including Australia’s fixtures, will be aired free-to-air by commercial broadcaster Seven Network.

Cam Luby, head of consumer marketing at Optus, said: “The FIFA WWC 2023 will be the ultimate celebration of the extraordinary talent in the women’s game. World-class athletes will perform on the global stage, making history in the biggest women’s sporting event ever.

“For young Australians especially, it’s where inspiration will start, and possibilities will be raised. It’s a privilege to be recognized as both an official supporter and broadcaster of the FIFA WWC 2023.”

The deal adds to Optus’ overall coverage surrounding the tournament after acquiring domestic rights.

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It secured rights to five New Zealand women’s international soccer friendlies earlier this year and also aired the ten-team playoff tournament held in New Zealand that ran from February 18 to 23.

Optus also held exclusive rights to selected matches from the European section of qualifying for the tournament, including all home qualifiers of England, Germany, and the Netherlands, as well as specific fixtures involving Denmark and Norway.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said: “Their [Optus'] commitment to women’s sport and their role as an official supporter and broadcaster demonstrates their dedication to promoting gender equality and inspiring millions around the world.

“Together, we will showcase the incredible talent and passion of the women’s game, leaving a lasting impact on generations to come.”

The FIFA 2023 World Cup will be the first edition to feature 32 teams (previously 24) after FIFA’s decision to expand the competition. It will take place across nine host cities and 10 stadiums in the two countries.

Meanwhile, Portuguese pay-TV broadcaster Sport TV has acquired exclusive rights to all WWC matches in a last-minute deal to avoid a potential blackout in the country.

Portugal is competing in the tournament for the first time and has been drawn in Group E alongside the Netherlands, the US, and Vietnam.

FIFA’s high asking price for the tournament led to a standoff between FIFA and broadcasters in the ‘Big Five’ European markets (the UK, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany) with FIFA president Gianni Infantino threatening a blackout and describing offers made as “disappointing” and “simply not acceptable.”

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the alliance of public service broadcasters, eventually expanded its deal for the tournament to be covered in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Its original deal struck eight months ago, covered 28 territories in Europe but not Portugal.

The previous 2019 WWC in France was shown by public broadcaster RTP as part of the EBU’s 38-territory agreement for that tournament.

For a deep dive into the EBU’s expanded deal with FIFA, read here.