×

Fifa kicking up Euro deals for 2010 Cup

Deal means fans will see matches live on free terrestrial TV

FRANKFURT — World soccer’s governing body has agreed to terrestrial TV rights deals with broadcasters in the U.K., France, Italy Germany and Spain as part of a Europe-wide package for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa worth some $1.21 billion.

Announcing the deal on Wednesday, Federation Internationale de Football Assn. (Fifa) prexy Sepp Blatter said the org would work with the European Broadcasting Union to sell rights to other Euro countries.

Deal, worth roughly twice as much as that for the European TV rights for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, means that fans will see most of the matches live on free terrestrial TV.

The rights had been expected to go to Swiss marketing company Infront Sports & Media, which is handling the global broadcasting rights sales for next year’s World Cup in Germany.

Instead, Fifa is handling all sales.

“We are going back to our origins,” Blatter added. “We are going to do what we used to do successfully.”

In Britain, the tourney will air on commercial web ITV and pubcaster the BBC; in Germany, on pubcasters ARD and ZDF and paybox Premiere; in France, on commercial web TF1; in Spain on TVE; and in Italy on pubcaster RAI and paybox Sky Italia.

Blatter also said the decision not to work with an agency, such as Infront, would give Fifa more editorial control. “We want to convey our message, not just show football,” he said.

Fifa has sold rights for the Japanese market but has yet to conclude deals for North or South America, the rest of Asia or Africa.

Fifa director of communications Markus Siegler explained, “The idea of the deal was to improve the reach globally by going to the public broadcast channels, but this doesn’t mean that pay TV is excluded in any country.”

Privately held Infront was part of the empire of German media mogul Leo Kirch before its collapse.

Kirch paid $2.2 billion, plus another $220 million to cover the U.S., for the combined global TV rights for the World Cups in South Korea and Japan in 2002 and Germany in 2006.

HBS, a subsidiary of Infront, is producing the TV signal for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun

    Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun Rights

    Viacom has sealed a deal with Sony Pictures Television for the cable rights to “Seinfeld” starting in October 2021. The deal comes on the heels of a blockbuster new deal between Sony and Netflix for the streaming rights to the beloved NBC sitcom that also begins in 2021. “Seinfeld” reruns have been a staple of [...]

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

  • Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers

    Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers From Skipping Fox Ad Breaks

    Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it. During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings [...]

  • Patria

    HBO Europe Unveils ‘Patria’ Footage to Captive San Sebastian Audience

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Amid large expectation, HBO Europe has revealed first footage giving a first sense of tone and pace of its Spanish original series “Patria.” A packed-to-overflowing press conference on Saturday morning at the San Sebastian Festival can be read as one sign of the potential popularity of the eight-part series. The panel sneak-peek [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content