Star India, the heavyweight pay-TV broadcaster, has secured rights to the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) national team soccer tournament through a carriage deal with 1Stadia, the US firm specializing in sports technology and media rights.

1Stadia bought rights to FIFA tournaments across the Indian subcontinent ahead of the start of the WWC and subsequently struck similar agreements with FanCode and Doordarshan despite India having not qualified for the 32-team event.

Star Sports’ WWC coverage will include highlight coverage from the group stage of the tournament, which ends tomorrow (August 3), as well as live broadcasts for all matches from the round of 16 knockout phase onwards, starting on Friday (August 5). 

The pay-TV heavyweight will apparently also produce regional-language commentary for the semi-finals and final of the 32-team event, which is taking place across Australia and New Zealand between July 20 and August 20.

Sangeet Shirodkar, chief executive and co-founder at 1Stadia, said: “1Stadia is thrilled to announce this partnership with Star Sports. This collaboration allows us to share the magic of this iconic tournament with millions of viewers across India, and together, we aim to celebrate the extraordinary athletes competing on the global stage."

A Star Sports spokesperson added: "We see this association as a milestone in the journey of women’s sports in India and the need for increased inclusivity in sports. Support for women’s sport not only reflects our (personal and societal) attitudes towards gender equity but also inspires the next generation of athletes to believe, which should be our nation’s shared ambition.”

Rights in India to last year’s men’s World Cup in Qatar were held by media group Viacom18, which aired action through its streaming platform JioCinema and linear Sports18 channels.

Sony Pictures Networks, meanwhile, held rights to the previous Women’s World Cup, held in France in 2019.

Earlier this week, Australian commercial broadcaster Seven Network secured its highest audience of the tournament so far.

An average of 2.42 million domestic viewers tuned in to watch Australia’s crucial 4-0 victory against Canada.

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