YLE, Finland’s public-service broadcaster, and commercial pay-television network MTV have agreed a deal through which broadcast rights to soccer’s 2022 men’s Fifa World Cup are shared.

YLE, the initially designated Finnish broadcaster of the tournament, will exclusively cover 42 matches live from the World Cup, which will take place next year in Qatar between 21 November and 18 December, including the opening game and the final, while MTV will have sole rights to 22 games.

This adds on to an already-arranged agreement between the two broadcasters, under which they will also share rights to the 2026 World Cup, which will be held jointly by the US, Mexico and Canada. That deal was actually agreed late last year. 

YLE has been the regular broadcaster of the Fifa World Cup in Finland this century, but in December 2020 MTV swooped to secure a joint package of rights for the 2026 tournament.

That agreement has now been extended to cover next year’s event as well.

In addition to the live coverage, all matches from the 2022 World Cup will be replayed in full on the network of the two that is not showing them live, meaning matches shown live on YLE will be shown again afterwards on MTV and vice versa.

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Pannu Pokkinen, director of the sports and events unit at YLE, said: “The most important thing for us at YLE is to ensure that significant sporting events are freely available to all people living in Finland … There is increasing competition for sports broadcasting rights. Using these new types of partnerships, we ensure both responsible use of money and survival in the intensifying marketplace.”

Johannes Leppanen, chief executive of MTV, added: "It is great that the agreed collaboration for the 2026 World Cup will remain in place, with the cooperation between MTV and YLE beginning for the 2022 World Cup.”

YLE is in possession of a bulging portfolio of top-tier soccer national team tournament rights for the next few years, including the 2024 and 2028 Uefa European Championships, as well as the Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2023 and the women’s Euros in 2022 and 2025. 

It also holds the rights to all Finnish men’s national team matches up to 2028.