The BBC and ITV will be showing all of the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, following a deal between FIFA and the European Broadcasting Union.
The agreement has been secured late in the day, after months of negotiations.
Last month, FIFA President Gianni Infantino threatened to block coverage to the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, because their bids weren’t what the “women’s game deserved.”
The sums involved haven’t been released today, but the new agreement will mean that all 64 matches from the tournament will either be broadcast on ITV or the BBC – except the final, which will be shown on both ITV1 and BBC One.
Kicking off on July 20th in Auckland, ITV will show half of its matches on ITV1 and ITV4, with simulcast and catch-up on ITVX.
“We’re delighted to be able to bring comprehensive coverage of the Women’s World Cup, free to air to our audiences with both live and highlights broadcasts across ITV and ITVX,” said Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport.
“This tournament promises to provide memorable moments with the popularity of women’s football continuing to grow. England’s Lionesses are entering the World Cup Finals as European champions and fans have been able to follow their progress to qualification on ITV through our coverage of the World Cup qualifiers, so we hope they’ll join us to see all the action from Australia and New Zealand throughout the tournament.”
The BBC will provide television coverage and audio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra.
“We have shown every Women’s World Cup on the BBC since 1999 and we are happy to extend our partnership with FIFA for the upcoming tournament,” added Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport.
“The growth of the women’s game is extraordinary, demonstrated by the 28 million who watched BBC coverage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup and the huge audience of 17.4 million who watched our coverage of the Euro 2022 final on TV last summer. In partnership with ITV we are delighted to make this World Cup available to the widest possible audience and free to air.”
The BBC and ITV partnered with the EBU which is a European alliance of public service media organisations.