all scores

2023 World Cup: FIFA reaches European broadcast deal

The Lionesses lift the trophy after winning England's first Women's European Championship over Germany on Sunday. (Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images)

FIFA reached a deal to broadcast the 2023 World Cup in England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Ukraine, ending a stalemate with major European broadcasters over media rights fees.

The world soccer governing body announced the deal Wednesday, five weeks before the tournament kicks off in Australia and New Zealand on July 20. FIFA president Gianni Infantino had threatened TV blackouts in European markets if no deal was reached.

The European Broadcasting Union, an alliance of public media organizations, and FIFA agreed to extend their existing media rights partnership to include the “Big 5” European markets, all of which have teams in the World Cup. The expanded deal ensures “maximum exposure for the tournament,” Infantino said in a news release.

Infantino had criticized European broadcasters for not offering a “fair” price for the tournament in early May, calling it FIFA’s “moral and legal obligation not to undersell” the women’s World Cup. The announcement of the broadcast deal did not include any monetary details.

The U.S. broadcast rights are held by Fox as part of an existing agreement with FIFA, which also covers the men’s tournament.

In the United Kingdom, all 64 World Cup matches will be broadcast on either the BBC or ITV — except for the final on Aug. 20, which will be shown simultaneously flagship channels BBC One and ITV1.

“The growth of the women’s game is extraordinary, demonstrated by the 28 million who watched BBC coverage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup and the huge audience of 17.4 million who watched our coverage of the Euro 2022 final last summer on TV,” BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said, also noting the BBC’s excitement to bring the 2023 World Cup to “the widest possible audience.”