BBC and ITV came under pressure to announce a TV deal for the Women’s World Cup after the Governments of the Big Five European markets weighed into the ongoing row.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer was among the five signatories stating their “concern” at the lack of agreement with just seven weeks until kick-off in Australia and New Zealand.
ITV and the Beeb are understood to have made a £9m joint bid which Fifa is expected to accept.
But broadcasters in France, Germany, Italy and Spain are said to have proposed “derisory” offers of a fraction of the bids for the men’s tournament.
They have been strongly criticised by Fifa President Gianni Infantino, who is reluctant to dig further into the world body’s funds.
And now the Governments have pledged to put on the big squeeze.
In a joint statement by the senior sports ministers of all five countries, the Governments said: “We have acknowledged with concern that until now, no television rights have been attributed for the matches broadcasting in our countries.
“We are aware of the legitimate interests and budgetary constraints pressuring both assignees and independent broadcasters, who need a viable economic model for each of them.
“And we also recognise the specific organisational constraints that are likely to affect the “market value” of the European broadcasters’ rights, such as the hours of broadcasting.
“However, we are convinced that the media coverage of the Women’s World Cup will be decisive in improving the global visibility of women’s sports in our European countries.
BETTING SPECIAL – BEST SPORTS BETTING APPS IN THE UK
“Media exposure to women’s sports has indeed a highly significant impact on the development of women’s and young girls’ sports practices.
“Because of the high potential of the Fifa Women’s World Cup and the sport and social issues at stake, we consider it our responsibility to fully mobilise all stakeholders, for them to quickly reach an agreement.
“These are decisions for Fifa and broadcasters to take independently, but we know that discussions are in progress and we are confident in Fifa and independent broadcasters’ capability to find a common path toward fair development.”