FIFA threatens Women's World Cup broadcast blackout in Europe

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STORY: Infantino: “...broadcasters – especially public broadcasters funded by taxpayers’ money – should put their action behind their words…”

FIFA is threatening a broadcast blackout of the Women’s World Cup in Europe’s top soccer nations, complaining of the media’s "disappointing" offers for the TV rights.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino called the low bids a "slap in the face" of the players and "all women worldwide."

Infantino: “....they rightfully criticize football organizations, or other sports organizations, for not paying women and men equally, or not having the same prize money. Well, we need to generate these revenues and they should help us, because otherwise we’ll simply not sell these rights at these undervalued prices to them and, well, the European public will not be able to watch the Women’s World Cup which, after the success of the last tournament in France, after the success of the EUROs, would be a real pity."

The Big 5 European nations which would be impacted are Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

On Monday, Infantino said broadcasters had offered only $1 million-$10 million for the rights, compared to $100 million-$200 million for rights to the men's World Cup, which he argues doesn’t make sense:

Infantino: “When you look at the viewing figures of the Women’s World Cup and you compare it with the Men’s World Cup, it is not 100 times less. The Women’s World Cup is maybe 50–60% of the Men’s World Cup. [FLASH] it doesn’t make any economic sense because the viewing figures are there.”

According to a FIFA audit of the tournament, some 1.12 billion viewers tuned into the 2019 Women's World Cup in France across all platforms.

Due to the time-zone difference this year - with the tournament being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand - Women's World Cup matches will be held outside prime-time viewing hours for European markets…

but FIFA’s president said that was no excuse.

Infantino: “but still, it is played at 9am or 10am, so it is quite a reasonable time.”

The Women’s World Cup starts July 20.