With no TV bid, Filipinas’ Fifa World Cup stint likely on streaming
Local sports fans hoping to get a glimpse of how the Philippine women’s football team will perform in its breakthrough appearance in the Fifa (International Association Football Federation) Women’s World Cup on screen through traditional means may end up with few options to do so.
With six weeks left before plunging into action in New Zealand, the Filipinas could be left without the chance of being seen by a broader audience back home as no local broadcaster has put a serious bid in securing the rights to air Fifa’s biggest showpiece for women’s football.
“We’re one of the countries that has yet to have broadcast rights,” Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Nonong Araneta told the Inquirer.
The PFF has no say in the negotiations since potential broadcasters have to deal directly with Fifa.
“But we can tell FIfa to maybe negotiate a lower price for the Philippines,” added Araneta.
Sources, however, said there was one channel that initially expressed interest in getting the rights for the tournament set for July 20 to Aug. 20.
But Tap Go, which airs multiple sports and entertainment channels on cable while also providing live streaming services online, eventually decided to back out. No local channel has since expressed its desire to get the World Cup rights, even if the Filipinas are in action.
Tap Go aired the men’s edition of the World Cup last December. That tournament ended in a historic title for Argentina and the great Lionel Messi in Doha, Qatar.
During the men’s tourney, Tap Go’s rate was P2,000 to show all games live on television and online, with delayed telecasts on its basic cable channels.
Part of package
In the past, those with World Cup rights also got to air the women’s edition as part of a package, much like when ABS-CBN did in 2015 and 2019 when the star-studded United States squad won both times.
But Fifa decided that this year’s broadcast rights would be separate from its men’s counterpart, and has resulted in ongoing issues surrounding negotiations with several European countries over what the world governing body felt were “lowball” offers.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino had said that it is in their “moral and legal obligation not to undersell the Women’s World Cup,” while threatening to impose a media blackout on five countries, namely the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Infantino said Fifa had been receiving offers of about $1 million to $10 million for the Women’s World Cup as compared to the men’s edition which is at least $200 million.
If the same scenario occurs here and with no television deal in place, Filipino fans could be left only with streaming options, which could be Fifa’s online platform Fifa+ or through illegal sites.
“We hope someone gets the deal so that many Filipinos can watch the games,” said Araneta.