May 27, 2024
Apple Nears Deal With FIFA for Rights to New Tournament

Apple Nears Deal With FIFA for Rights to New Tournament

Posted April 22, 2024 at 5:47pm by iClarified
Apple is close to signing an agreement with FIFA to secure worldwide television rights to a major new monthlong tournament that will be held in the United States next summer, according to the NYT.

The agreement could be announced as soon as this month, according to three people familiar with the matter, who were not authorized to discuss the deal publicly because it has yet to be officially confirmed. It comes after several false starts for a competition championed by FIFA's president, Gianni Infantino. Plans to hold it in China in 2021 were scuttled because of the pandemic.

Originally, FIFA had estimated the deal might be worth $4 billion; however, it's now said to worth as little as a quarter of that. It's unclear if the agreement would include free-to-air rights, possibly making the entire event only available to Apple TV+ subscribers.

Also notable, if the deal goes forward, it would be the first time FIFA has agreed to a single worldwide contract. For Apple, it would extend its foray into soccer. It already has a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal with Major League Soccer.

Last year, the United States was announced as the host country for the new and expanded 32-team FIFA Club World Cup that is due to take place in 2025. FIFA said the host selection process took into consideration the infrastructure and service requirements, as well as broader strategic objectives for the tournament.

The decision was reached based on the United States' position as a proven leader in staging global events and because it would allow FIFA to maximise synergies with the delivery of the FIFA World Cup 2026, to the benefit of both tournaments and the development of football in the North American region.

"The FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be the pinnacle of elite professional men's club football, and with the required infrastructure in place together with a massive local interest, the United States is the ideal host to kick off this new, global tournament," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. "With some of the world's top clubs already qualified, fans from every continent will be bringing their passion and energy to the United States in two years' time for this significant milestone in our mission to make football truly global."

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Apple Nears Deal With FIFA for Rights to New Tournament
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