FIFA rejected multiple recent bids to air July's Women's World Cup because the offers were too low
The GIST: Broadcasters better have FIFA’s money. Chief business officer Romy Gai said yesterday that FIFA rejected multiple recent bids to air July’s Women’s World Cup because the offers were too low.
The details: World soccer’s governing body turned down broadcast deals in the U.K., Germany, France and Italy, with Spain likely to follow. Gai noted that FIFA isn’t being priced out, but that its refusal to do business shows “a lack of willingness of broadcasters to pay what the women’s game deserves.”
- FIFA has spent much of this year actively searching for new media partners ahead of the tourney, launching an invitation to tender in Asia in April, and in France and the U.K. in June.
The context: Per Gai, women’s soccer broadcast fees in the U.K. don’t currently match audience size. Women’s soccer rights cost roughly 2% of what they do for the men’s game, despite viewership hovering around 20% of the men’s soccer audience. The math’s not mathing.
Zooming out: The media market has historically undervalued women’s sports, but this move makes FIFA one of the first to openly use its bargaining power to correct course and match dollar signs to the undeniable growth of the women’s game.
- Notably, FIFA may be able to lay the groundwork for others *cough* the NCAA *cough* if it successfully negotiates with broadcasters.