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No European Broadcast Rights Deal
In an unprecedented move, FIFA has been unable to secure television broadcasting deals for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Europe’s ‘big five’ football nations - Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Spain. This decision follows reduced offers from public broadcasters, which FIFA deemed insufficient. FIFA President Gianni Infantino stated that underselling the Women’s World Cup would be a disservice to the players and all women worldwide.
FIFA’s new stance is part of its strategy to independently hold an auction for the Women’s World Cup, previously bundled with the men’s tournament broadcasting rights. Despite successful partnerships with advertisers, the public broadcasters’ negotiations have been less fruitful. Public broadcasters have cited concerns about morning programming and achieving a satisfactory financial return.
FIFA’s secretary general, Fatma Samoura, has criticised the lack of financial commitment to women’s football, arguing that equality talks need to be backed by investment. The lack of a broadcast deal, particularly in football-focused countries such as Spain, poses a significant challenge for FIFA, especially given the tournament’s expected billion-strong audience. With no resolution in sight, FIFA is considering a streaming solution for these countries, albeit one with lesser quality and accessibility than conventional channels.
Historic Prize Money Increase
In a landmark announcement, FIFA has unveiled a new financial distribution model for the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup, which promises to be a tournament of many firsts. Not only will the competition see increased participation from 32 nations, but the new model also guarantees record distributions starting from the group stage.
“This unprecedented new distribution model will have a real and meaningful impact on the lives and careers of these players,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino affirmed. Given that the average global salary of women’s professional footballers stands at approximately $14,000 annually, the new model is poised to make a significant difference.
The captain and each of her 22 teammates who ultimately lift the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy on August 20 in Sydney will each receive $270,000. The financial allocations per player and per nation association will vary depending on the stage of the tournament they reach. With FIFA’s total investment in the upcoming World Cup budgeted to exceed $500 million, this new model represents a significant step forward in the sport.
Record-Breaking Ticket Sales for Women’s World Cup
The excitement surrounding the upcoming Women’s World Cup is palpable, as indicated by the record-breaking ticket sales. With one month still to go before the tournament kicks off, over a million tickets have already been sold, surpassing the number sold for the 2019 tournament in France.
The tournament, being co-hosted for the first time by Australia and New Zealand, will commence on July 20, with New Zealand facing Norway and Australia taking on Ireland. As Infantino shared on his Instagram, “The momentum is building in the host countries and across the globe."
Barcelona Wins Women’s Champions League in Sensational Comeback
In other recent football news, Barcelona claimed their second UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy with a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory over Wolfsburg. Despite going into halftime 2-0 down, thanks to goals from Wolfsburg’s Pajor and Popp, Barcelona mounted a stunning comeback. Patricia Guijarro scored twice, and Sweden star Fridolina Rolfo netted the decisive goal to ensure Barcelona lifted the trophy.
Stay tuned for what we have in store for you in the next 40 days of Edge of the Crowds 70-Day FIFA Women's World Cup Countdown including a deep dive into the importance of women’s soccer on a global scale, a look at the stadiums hosting the tournament, as well as a look at how teams qualified, a breakdown of the draw and much, much more.