Gianni Infantino’s World Cup Blackout Threat
Fifa president Gianni Infantino recently made headlines with his controversial statement about the men’s World Cup. He then followed it up with a threat of a World Cup blackout, which sparked a debate about the value of the women’s tournament.
The Economic Landscape
Broadcasters across the board have been tightening their belts due to the economic landscape. This has led to offers for TV rights to the women’s World Cup being 20 to 100 times lower than that for the men’s tournament. This has been seen as a slap in the face to all the great Fifa Women’s World Cup players and indeed of all women worldwide.
Moya Dodd’s Outrageous Claim
Former Fifa Council member Moya Dodd has made an outrageous claim that the industry was trained to pay big money for the men’s World Cup and treat the women’s equivalent as worthless. She also said that the women were told they didn’t deserve prize money or equal pay because they didn’t bring the revenues.
11th Hour Deal Struck
Fortunately, an 11th hour deal has been struck, with all 64 matches being shown by the BBC and ITV. The BBC deserves huge credit for its commitment to women’s sport, including football. They have been a key driver in changing the script, and all broadcasters have dug a little deeper, with 100 per cent of any rights fees paid reportedly going straight into women’s football.
It is great news that a deal has been struck, as it will provide a consistent platform for people to watch the tournament at any time of the day or night. This will be beneficial for increasing interest in and consumption of women’s football. Hopefully, Infantino will say something daft soon, so normal service can be resumed.