FIFA Awards FOX U.S. TV Rights
The FIFA World Cup will have a new U.S. TV partner in 2018 and 2022, with several sources saying that Fox will pick up the English-language rights. FIFA has informed the bidders and is planning to announce the winners at some point today or early next week. The decision to award the rights to Fox is a shocking development, since incumbent ESPN was widely believed to be the front-runner to retain the World Cup rights.
ESPN in 2005 paid $100 million for an English-language package that included rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. Fox picked up rights to all FIFA events from 2015-22, including the men’s World Cup in 2018 and 2022; the women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019; and all Under-20 and Under-17 games.
It is unclear who will pick up the Spanish-language rights that both Univision and Telemundo were bidding on, with Univision the incumbent.