We have the official announcement from FIFA awarding the US media rights to the Men’s and Women’s World Cups ranging from 2015 through 2022. Fox gets the English language rights for TV and radio. Fox reportedly paid a total of $450-$500 million to wrest the rights from ESPN which had aired the event consecutively dating back to 1994.
NBCUniversal’s Telemundo won the Spanish language TV rights at a reported price of $600 million. It takes the World Cup away from long-time incumbent Univision.
Of course , ESPN and Univision still have the rights to the 2014 Men’s World Cup in Brazil and will air that event in the summer of tat year.
We have the press release from FIFA.
FIFA Awards US TV Rights for 2015-2022
The FIFA Executive Committee today (21 October 2011) ratified the bids from two US media companies for the TV rights for the period 2015-2022.
Fox (including radio rights) and NBCUniversal’s Telemundo Media (Spanish-language, excluding radio rights) have acquired the exclusive U.S. media rights to FIFA World Cup football across all platforms from 2015 to 2022, which includes the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and other FIFA events.
Fútbol de Primera Radio has acquired the Spanish-language radio rights.
And Fox Sports El Jefe del Mundo David Hill has issued this statement.
“We are truly honored for FIFA to award the Fox Sports Media Group these extremely important rights. The FIFA World Cup and Women’s World Cup are two of the world’s biggest competitions. It is our privilege to be entrusted with these rights in the United States from 2015 through 2022.”
This was a surprise for Fox to win this bid. I expected FIFA to go back to ESPN/Univision or turn to NBC if it wanted a change. Normally, FIFA would award World Cup rights to the network also airing MLS and with Fox losing them after this season, I considered Fox to be a longshot.
However, FIFA decided to go with Fox based on its commitment to the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. I’m sure we’ll see Fox using FX, Fox Soccer and to a lesser extent, Fox Sports Net affiliates to air games. We’ll find out more as the days progress.