More Thoughts on World Cup Bidding

Just some quick thoughts on the FIFA bidding process. For more detail on the ongoing effort to secure rights fees for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, take a look at some of the other posts below.

Last night Grant Wahl tweeted that the FIFA World Cup bidding process was not quite finalized.  Despite expectations that the winner of rights to the 2018, 2022 World Cup (along with other events including Womens World Cups and youth tournaments), would be announced Thursday or Friday, Wahl has reported that FIFA has requested new bids.  Wahl’s suspicion is that request means that FIFA is looking for higher bids. So how much money is at issue?  Bids are expected to go well past the combined $425 million bid for the 2010-2014 US rights package.  However, this round of bidding includes two host countries (unlike Brazil) in “unfriendly” time zones for US audiences.

In what other ways does FIFA make money?  Tier-One FIFA World Cup sponsors pay almost $125 million for the right to reach 30 billion sets of TV eyeballs and almost 3 million stadium attendees.  Add in the enormous investment necessary to leverage the FIFA relationship (through ad materials, hospitality events, commercials, etc…) and only a serious company can join the elite group of eight World Cup partnerships offered by FIFA.

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7 Responses

  1. Brazil being in a US-“friendly” time zone won’t change the fact that game kickoff times will still be geared to euro prime-time audiences.

    Other than that, does MLS leadership favor one network over the other; can they influence FIFA’s decision ?. I’m asking this question because we know that back in 2005, carrying MLS games was a big part of ESPN getting the rights to 2010/2014.

  2. well, question is kinda moot now… FOX won.

  3. Ben, I hope you’ve got some reassuring commentary to offer on today’s news, because MLS fans are obviously freaking out like crazy about it.

    Is this really as bad for the league (and for American soccer in general) as we all worry?

  4. I feel old when I say that I remember when MTV actually played music. I get the feeling that we will soon look back and say, I remember when ESPN used to have games on it. Hockey and Soccer are gone (save for an EPL game now and then). Football and college sports are migrating over to specialized networks (NFL, Big 10, Longhorn, BYU) or major broadcast networks (Fox Sr., NBC, CBS). Will the NBA and MLB follow suit? Even if they don’t leave, doesn’t it seem like ESPN has lost some of its luster?

    I like as much visibility for soccer in the US as possible. But I can’t say a lack of soccer on ESPN leaves me worried. It ouwld be nice, but is not required.

  5. “I feel old when I say that I remember when MTV actually played music. I get the feeling that we will soon look back and say, I remember when ESPN used to have games on it. ”

    Well, maybe so. And I hope you’re right that there’s no reason to worry.

    But sitting here in October 2011, it’s hard to escape the feeling that U.S. soccer lost today. ESPN still matters a LOT in the social/cultural realm. It still has a lot of sway in the sports-credibility department. And it really seems like our game has been making major headway on that front these past few years, thanks in large part to ESPN’s efforts across the board.

    So I dunno. I guess we’ll see.

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