Alamy Stock Photo Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
The Price is Wrong
Fifa threatens European TV blackout of Women's World Cup - but RTÉ won't be affected
Fifa president says broadcasters have offered ’100 times less’ to screen the Women’s World Cup compared to the men’s tournament.

LAST UPDATE | May 2nd 2023, 12:54 PM

RTÉ’S COVERAGE OF the Women’s World Cup will not be affected by Fifa’s threat to impose a blackout in major European countries unless broadcasters improve their offers for rights.

Fifa President Gianni Infantino made the comments after criticising broadcasters in October, saying they had offered “100 times less” to screen the Women’s World Cup compared to the men’s tournament. 

Following an inquiry by The 42, RTÉ say their coverage is “not affected by this dispute” as their rights were secured through the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in October.

The World Cup starts in Australia and New Zealand on 20 July and ends on 20 August, with Vera Pauw’s Ireland set to face Australia (20 July), Canada (26 July) and Nigeria (31 July) in Group B.

Infantino went on the attack again on Monday, less than three months before the start of the tournament, calling for a “fair price” for media rights.

Fifa is yet to sell rights for the tournament to some major markets, football’s governing body said in a statement.

“The offers from broadcasters, mainly in the ‘Big Five’ European countries, are still very disappointing,” he said at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, stressing that the revenue will go back into women’s football to help grow the game.

Infantino accused broadcasters of offering between $1 million (€910,000) and $10 million (€9.1m) to show the Women’s World Cup, compared to the $100-200 million (€91-182m) they pay for the men’s version.

The five countries are thought to be Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

“This is a slap in the face of all the great Fifa Women’s World Cup players and indeed of all women worldwide,” said Infantino.

“To be very clear, it is our moral and legal obligation not to undersell the Fifa Women’s World Cup.

“Therefore, should the offers continue not to be fair (towards women and women’s football), we will be forced not to broadcast the Fifa Women’s World Cup into the ‘Big Five’ European countries.”

Because of the time difference, World Cup matches will not take place during prime-time hours in Europe, but Infantino said that was no excuse.

“Maybe, because it is in Australia and New Zealand, it’s not played on prime time in Europe, but still, it is played at 9:00 am or 10:00 am, so it is quite a reasonable time,” he said.

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