BBC, ITV Snag FIFA World Cup Free-to-Air Broadcast Rights Through 2022
(WORLD CUP TECHNOLOGY)
The globe is gearing up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the largest sporting event of all time, in Brazil, this week. Meanwhile, commerce marches on as new TV carriage deals have been inked for future tournaments.
In the UK, ITV and BBC will share exclusive broadcast rights for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the 2022 edition to be held in Qatar, United Arab Emirates. The deal ensures continued free-to-air broadcasting of FIFA World Cup tournaments to UK television viewers, and will encompass online and radio coverage.
The 2018 finals will be the fourteenth consecutive FIFA World Cup that ITV and BBC broadcast together—which, so far, has been a successful enterprise. More than three quarters of the UK population tuned in to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
"The excitement building on the eve of this summer's tournament in Brazil demonstrates how the FIFA World Cup offers a shared, collective experience for people across the UK,” said Niall Sloane, ITV director of sport. “So we're thrilled to be able to look forward to bringing the next two World Cups free-to-air to viewers in 2018 and 2022."
BBC director of sport Barbara Slater added, "We are delighted to have secured the rights to one of the biggest sporting events in the world. It is fantastic news that the pinnacle event in world football will continue to be available free of charge for everyone in the UK. As we prepare for kick off in Brazil we hope viewers at home will enjoy watching it as much as we will look forward to broadcasting it."
FIFA also confirmed that the German rights to the 2022 tournament will once again be given to free-to-air broadcasters ARD and ZDF, which have the rights to this year’s event and have already picked up the rights to Russia 2018.
The 2014 World Cup begins on Thursday, when Brazil, the host country, opens up the tournament with a match against Croatia. ITV will broadcast the game in the UK.