BBC, ITV secure 2018/22 World Cup rights
June 9, 2014
By Colin Mann
BBC and ITV have signed a new deal with FIFA to broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup across TV, radio and online
Securing the shared exclusive rights for BBC and ITV continues the free-to-air broadcasting of FIFA World Cup tournaments to UK television viewers, as well as encompassing online and radio coverage.
The 2018 finals will be the 14th consecutive FIFA World Cup that BBC and ITV broadcast together, continuing their long-running and hugely successful broadcast partnership. Over three quarters of the UK population tuned in to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
BBC Director of Sport, Barbara Slater, said it was fantastic news that the pinnacle event in world football would 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.”
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said the excitement building on the eve of this summer’s tournament in Brazil demonstrated how the FIFA World Cup offered a shared, collective experience for people across the UK.
Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV, said football fans in the UK could look forward to enjoying the very best coverage of the World Cup free-to-air for a long time to come.
The tournament is a Group A Listed Event under the Broadcasting Act 1996 as covered by broadcast regulator Ofcom’s Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events. The purpose of these arrangements is to ensure that key sporting events are made available to all television viewers, particularly those who cannot afford the extra cost of subscription television.
Listed events are categorised either as Group A or Group B events. The rights to broadcast listed events – live rights in the case of Group A events (e.g. Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon and European Football Championship) or highlights in the case of Group B events (e.g. Cricket Test Matches, Six Nations Rugby or Commonwealth Games) must be offered to so-called ‘qualifying broadcasters’ – those whose channels are available without payment to at least 95 per cent of the UK population.