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Soccer Business


February 12, 2015
Soccer Business: Fox gets another World Cup

Fox has been awarded the United States television rights to a third World Cup, without yet having broadcast its first.

In a surprise move, FIFA on Thursday announced that it has extended its media rights agreements in the United States and Canada for its tournaments up to and including the 2026 World Cup, with Fox retaining the English language rights and NBCUniversal's Telemundo holding onto the Spanish language rights in the U.S. and CTV/TSN retaining the rights in Canada

FIFA had previously awarded the rights to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in 2011, with Fox paying a reported $400 million and Telemundo $600 million for the Spanish- language rights. The deals far exceeded the combined $425 million paid by ESPN and Univision for the 2010 and 2014 events. Figures for the extension were not available, but are believed to be higher still, especially with the likelihood that the 2026 World Cup could be played in the United States.

The extended agreements cover the following tournaments in addition to the 2026 FIFA World Cup: FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 and 2025, FIFA U-17 World Cup 2023 and 2025, FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2023 and 2025, FIFA Futsal World Cup 2024, FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2024 and 2026, FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2024 and 2026, and FIFA Confederations Cup 2025.

The FIFA announcement came on the heels of the English Premier League announcing it had sold its domestic television rights to SKY and BT Sport. The three-year deal beginning in 2016 is reported worth $8 billion, on par with what the National Football League will receive under its current nine-year TV deals, which are worth almost $3 billion per year.

Sponsor deals
AdvoCare International signed a multiyear partnership with Major League Soccer to be the league's Official Sports Nutrition Partner.

The sponsorship is effective beginning with the 2015 MLS season and extends through the 2019 season. As part of the agreement, AdvoCare Rehydrate will be the Official Sports Drink of Major League Soccer and will be featured on the sidelines of MLS games. Part of the AdvoCare Active Line, Rehydrate provides the necessary nutrients to maintain proper metabolism, delay the onset of fatigue, and hydrate the body by re-establishing electrolyte balance.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies have a new multi-year partnership making Nike the club’s official uniform and apparel provider beginning with the 2015 season.

The San Jose Earthquakes have signed a five-year, multi-million-dollar New Stadium Founding Partnership with The Bay Area BMW Centers. As part of the deal, the field club section at Avaya Stadium will now be branded as the "BMW Club."

Nike also signed an agreement with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. In addition to providing footwear, apparel, and select equipment and accessories to the 8,000+ coaches that attend NSCAA courses, Nike will also have a presence at major Association events, including the NSCAA Convention and the NSCAA Summer Symposium, among others.

Chick-fil-A, Inc. has become a partner of Orlando City SC. Orlando City fans who wear their Lions’ gear to a participating Chick-fil-A on game day will receive a special promotion all season long.

The Town of Cary, along with the Carolina RailHawks, have come to an agreement renewing WakeMed Health & Hospitals' sponsorship for three more years, through December 31, 2017. WakeMed will retain naming rights to the 150-acre WakeMed Soccer Park. However, naming rights to the complex's 10,000-seat stadium are no longer included. This change will enable the Town of Cary and the RailHawks to pursue other naming rights sponsor candidates for the stadium.

The Railhawks also have agreed to a new back-of-jersey sponsorship with talent management enterprise Vivify Software.

The RailHawks will feature the cloud-based performance software company’s logo on the back of their home and away match jerseys.

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