The Women’s Football World Cup still has no broadcasters in France

Negotiations are dragging on less than four months before the start of the Women’s World Cup. The International Football Federation (FIFA), which markets the competition scheduled for July 20 to August 20, in Australia and New Zealand, has not so far obtained what it expected. The first tender for broadcasting rights for France, whose deadline was set for July 5, 2022, was deemed inconclusive by FIFA, “lack of an offer that recognizes the biggest women’s football tournament in the world at its fair value”.

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“The offers we receive (…) are ten to a hundred times lower than those for the World Cup”had denounced its president, Gianni Infantino, during the 73e congress of the organization, in Kigali (Rwanda), mid-March. “This is all the more important as the revenues generated by the media rights of the 2023 Women’s World Cup are reinvested in the development of women’s footballargues the organization today.

While the discussions have now continued by mutual agreement since September 2022, no chain manager French and platform does not wish to speak, but the various specialists in the audiovisual sector are unanimous. FIFA has set the bar much higher than imagined by broadcasters, based on the last edition, in 2019.

At the time, the broadcasting rights for the World Cup in France had been sold to TF1 for just over 19 million euros. Europe’s leading channel had been able to retransmit the twenty-five “best posters”including all the matches of the French team, and had sub-licensed a co-broadcast to Canal+, which had broadcast the competition in its entirety, for 8 million euros.

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A winning bet, as the audiences for the competition, launched in 1991, had reached new heights, becoming the most watched Women’s World Cup in history with more than 1 billion viewers worldwide. FIFA ensures that it has no intention of selling off the rights of women’s competition, even if it could be forced to review its claims. According to our information, the financial proposals would oscillate between 3 million and 5 million euros, which could land the hexagonal rights below 10 million euros, far from the targeted twenty.

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Except that the 2023 edition is much less favorable for broadcasters. Scheduled between mid-July and mid-August, the competition is later than usual and falls into a low period in terms of advertising. Also, the time difference (eight hours with Australia and ten hours with New Zealand) bothers the European channels. The matches of the first round are fixed at noon, French time.

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