FIFA has threatened not to broadcast the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this summer, to five big European countries due to disagreements on media rights.
“The offers from broadcasters, mainly in the ‘Big 5’ European countries, are still very disappointing and simply not acceptable,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a statement.
Infantino didn’t name the countries, but according to dpa information, Germany is among them.
Germany’s defeat to England at the women’s Euro 2022 final was the most watched programme on German television in 2022, with 17,952 million viewers.
He said that “should the offers continue not to be fair (towards women and women’s football), we will be forced not to broadcast the FIFA Women’s World Cup into the ‘Big 5′ European countries.”
FIFA said the viewing figures of the women’s World Cup are 50 to 60 per cent of the men’s tournament, yet the broadcasters’ offers in the major European countries for the women’s event are 20 to 100 per cent lower.
Infantino added that the time difference between Europe and the two host countries shouldn’t be an excuse.
“It doesn’t make any economic sense because the viewing figures are there.
“Maybe, because it is in Australia and New Zealand, it’s not played on prime-time in Europe, but still, it is played at 9am or 10am, so it is quite a reasonable time,” he said.
Infantino said that FIFA “did our part” by raising the prize money to $152 million, three times the amount paid in 2019 and 10 times more than in 2015.