Fox, Not ESPN, Expected To Be Awarded FIFA World Cup Rights For '18, '22

The Sports Business Daily says:

The FIFA World Cup will have two new U.S. TV partners in '18 and '22, with several sources saying that Fox and Telemundo will pick up the broadcast rights. Sources said Fox has agreed to pay $450-500M for the English-language rights to the next two events, scheduled for Russia and Qatar. NBC-owned Telemundo has agreed to pay around $600M for the Spanish-language rights, sources said. The bids represent huge increases over what ESPN and Univision paid for the '10 and '14 events. ESPN in '05 agreed to pay $100M; Univision agreed to pay $325M. FIFA has informed the bidders and has indicated that it wants to wait until Friday afternoon to make a formal announcement. Neither Fox nor Telemundo would comment on the World Cup bidding. The decision to award the rights to Fox and Telemundo is a shocking development, since incumbents ESPN and Univision were widely believed to be the front-runners to retain the World Cup rights. Bids initially were submitted in Zurich on Wednesday, with a second round of bids being submitted Thursday afternoon.

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