Apple close to finalizing $1B deal with FIFA over TV rights for new tournament: report

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, is close to reaching an agreement with Apple to give the technology company one month of global television rights to new clubs. tournament, The New York Times reported Monday.

The deal with Apple could be announced as early as this month and could be worth around $1 billion, a quarter of the $4 billion originally estimated by FIFA. The report cited three people familiar with the matter.

The potential agreement would give the company’s streaming business an edge in the race among streaming service providers to acquire the rights to widely viewed sporting events to grow subscribers.

If the deal goes through, it would be the first time FIFA has agreed to a single global deal, the report said.

american soccer team players
The tournament is scheduled to be held in the United States for the first time next summer, the paper said, adding that a deal could be announced as early as this month. AP

However, senior FIFA executives have reportedly expressed concerns about the possibility of “free-to-air rights” that would make the event available only to Apple TV+ subscribers. It is unclear whether the contract includes such rights.

Sponsors are also reluctant to contribute the $150 million that FIFA is seeking for the sponsorship package, the report said.

The 32-team competition will be held from June 15th to July 13th next year. According to reports, no major events are scheduled during this period, as players are usually given a rest during the off-season a year before the World Cup. .

According to the newspaper, FIFA has faced criticism from players’ associations for not consulting them before announcing the tournament.

“As a matter of general practice, FIFA does not confirm or deny commercial arguments,” a spokesperson for the governing body said in response to a request for comment from Reuters. Apple declined to comment.