Bloomberg News

News Corp.’s Fox Gets U.S. TV Rights to World Cups in 2018, 2022

October 21, 2011

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- News Corp.’s Fox won the U.S. television rights to soccer’s World Cup in 2018 and 2022, taking the tournament away from Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN.

Telemundo, part of Comcast Corp.’s NBC Universal unit, won the Spanish-language rights for the tournaments, set for Russia in 2018 and Qatar four years later.

The decision was announced yesterday by FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, in its headquarters city of Zurich, Switzerland.

The U.S. television rights also cover the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cups.

Financial details weren’t disclosed by FIFA. Sports Business Daily, citing unidentified people, said Fox would pay $450 million to $500 million, with Telemundo paying $600 million. ESPN paid $100 million for English-language U.S. rights and Univision $325 million for Spanish-language rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, Sports Business Daily reported.

FIFA considered rights bids from Fox, ESPN and NBC Universal.

Lou D’Ermilio, a Fox spokesman, didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

ESPN said in a statement that it “made a disciplined bid that would have been both valuable to FIFA and profitable for our company, while continuing to grow our unprecedented coverage of the World Cup and Women’s World Cup events. We were aggressive while remaining prudent from a business perspective.”

--Editors: Larry Siddons, Rob Gloster

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in London at tpanja@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net


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