Fifa goes to market in increasingly competitive in-flight and in-ship market
Live and delayed in-flight and in-ship rights to major national team soccer competitions are being offered to the market by Fifa, the sport's world governing body.
The invitation to tender covers the 2018 Fifa World Cup and this year’s Confederations Cup, plus the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
The rights auction comes with incumbent rights-holder IMG facing more competition than it did in late 2009 when striking an agreement for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
IMG showed extensive live coverage of the 2014 World Cup on Sport 24, its in-flight and in-ship channel, but rival agency Pitch International has since become involved in the sector, picking up rights to Formula 1 motor racing (previously held by IMG) and other properties.
Global Eagle Entertainment, the USA-based provider of satellite-based wireless internet solutions, has also agreed in-flight and in-ship agreements with rights-holders, and a distribution deal with the Lagardère Sports agency.
Sport 24 aired landmark live coverage of 56 games from the 2014 World Cup, plus delayed coverage of the eight other matches (the simultaneous final group-stage matches).
The service now has the capacity to air all World Cup games live after launching a second channel last year.
Given the technological advancements that facilitated the launch of the live in-flight sports channel in early 2012, IMG returned to Fifa with a proposal for a live in-flight rights deal for the 2014 tournament.
IMG recently extended its in-flight and in-ship rights to the Bundesliga until 2020 and Sport 24’s portfolio also includes the Premier League and the Uefa Champions League, NBA basketball, American football's NFL, tennis grand slams and golf’s Ryder Cup and majors.
Companies wishing to submit a tender in Fifa's sales process have been asked to email Inflight-Inship@fifa.org for more details.