Fifa has “no intention of selling off this flagship competition” but, three months before the Women’s World Cup, no TV channel has acquired the broadcasting rights in France, as in other European countries, for lack of conclusive financial agreement.
In question: the time difference with Australia and New Zealand, a late summer competition (July 20-August 20) and financial reasons.
“The tender for the broadcasting rights of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in several European markets has so far not been successful, due to a lack of offers that recognize the biggest women’s football tournament in the world at its fair value,” Fifa told AFP.
From then on, negotiations continue “with several potential broadcasters”, continues the world governing body of the round ball.
This is the case in France but also in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, or Japan, unlike the United States, Canada, the Netherlands or Brazil, all countries where an agreement has been reached with broadcasters.
– Negotiations without intermediary –
The stakes are all the more important for Fifa as the revenues generated by the media rights of the World Cup are reinvested in the development of women’s football. Not necessarily in France or Europe, but rather in Asia or Africa, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Thus, Fifa “does not intend to sell off this flagship competition”, underlined the body which signs the contracts directly with the broadcasters, without going through an intermediary agency.
Gianni Infantino also showed his dissatisfaction during the draw last October in Auckland: “The broadcasters offer us a hundred times less than what they give us for the Men’s World Cup”.
The boss of Fifa had deemed these offers “unacceptable”, knowing that the television channels “urge us to do more for equality”.
In Europe, this lack of interest is above all due to the geographical area of the competition, organized for the first time in Oceania, and therefore to the time difference, which puts the channels off.
Also, the competition is later than usual and falls into a low period in terms of advertising revenue.
For example, the first round matches will be played by Les Bleues (July 23 against Jamaica, July 29 against Brazil, August 2 against Panama) at noon, French time. The semi-finals, the final and the match for third place will take place at 10:00 a.m. and noon.
– “Develop women’s football everywhere” –
“It’s a sport for everyone, we can’t only play in Europe even if it’s more comfortable, we have to develop women’s football everywhere. Oceania is magic for China and Japan by example”, insists a source close to the instance.
After an inconclusive call for tenders in France in July, no agreement has been reached since. This is also the case for the D1 championship and the matches of the women’s selection covering the period 2023-2027, but a decision will be made after May 4, the date of the end of applications, according to the French Federation.
It is also around this date that the fate of the Mondial-2023 could be decided, according to Jean-Michel Aulas, member of the executive committee of the FFF, questioned on the subject last week during a press conference.
According to several sources, the current D1 broadcaster, Canal+, could position itself and invest in broadcasting the World Cup and the championship.
During the last World Cup, in 2019 in France, the rights were acquired for an unknown amount by TF1, which then sold the rights for paid broadcasting to Canal +, according to several media.
“We need you”, launched the new coach of the Bleues Hervé Renard several times to the media, during his first meeting in April.
In the absence of a broadcaster, his announcement of the list for the World Cup, at the beginning of June, could not be done on the premises of a channel, but at one of the sponsors.