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FOX Sports Opposed to Switching 2022 World Cup to Winter, Says Report

fox sports logo FOX Sports Opposed to Switching 2022 World Cup to Winter, Says Report

FOX Sports opposes FIFA’s plan to move the 2022 World Cup from the summer to winter, according to a report in Bloomberg.

In 2011, FOX agreed to pay FIFA $425 million for the US media rights to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments with the understanding that the competitions would be played in the summer.

In an e-mail from FOX to Bloomberg, the correspondence read that:

“FIFA has informed us that they are considering and voting on moving the 2022 World Cup.

“Fox Sports bought the World Cup rights with the understanding they would be in the summer as they have been since the 1930s.”

While the general consensus is that almost everyone is resigned to the FIFA World Cup 2022 tournament being moved from the summer to winter due to the sweltering summertime temperatures in Qatar, it’s understandable that FOX Sports is adamant that the tournament be played in the summer. FOX acquired the rights to the World Cup with the understanding that it would be a summer tournament. And by FIFA moving the tournament to the months of November-December, the TV ratings and advertising revenue that FOX Sports would be able to generate would be significantly decreased due to the conflict with major American sports such as NFL and college football.

When World Soccer Talk contacted FOX Sports several weeks ago, the spokesperson declined to comment FOX’s reaction to the speculation that FIFA was going to move the date of the 2022 tournament.

FOX paid more than four times what ESPN paid for the rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cup tournaments.

FIFA is expected to rubber stamp the decision next month to move the tournament from the summer to the winter.

By awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar despite the warnings of its own organizing committee that the summer temperatures in the country were unhealthy, FIFA has put itself into a corner where it’s extremely difficult to come out of it without upsetting soccer associations, leagues or sports broadcasters.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
This entry was posted in FOX Soccer, FOX Sports 1, World Cup, World Cup 2018, World Cup 2022. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to FOX Sports Opposed to Switching 2022 World Cup to Winter, Says Report

  1. John says:

    Having the World Cup in the Winter is such an awful idea, for all the reasons stated above but also for the fact that you can’t squeeze the World cup in November and December without having so many other non-sport conflicts, think about all the holidays celebrated by different cultures on different dates during those months. The World Cup is a Summer event, people take their summer vacations around the Cup. I really hope they move it elsewhere.

  2. TiLoBrown says:

    Really? Fox does get that moving it to a sweeps period would be better for them, right? Especially if its during the time all the shows are repeats for a week.

    • TiLoBrown says:

      Also if Fox doesn’t want it during the winter, if its moved, give them some money back and let NBC run it

      • John says:

        I mean think of what the weekend will be like. During the World Cup you can go into almost any sports bar in America and they will have the games on, with sound, and lots of people getting into it (NEW fans). You have it in Nov-Dec, have fun trying to get the bartenders to put it on when there’s College Football, NFL Football, the NHL….sure those things don’t compare to Soccer to us, but part of the fun of Summer World Cup is that its the only thing on, you can go anywhere to enjoy it.

        • TiLoBrown says:

          Not going to argue that point because its true. But during that time period Fox can charge more money for advertising than they could in the summer. And considering they didn’t get the money they wanted for FS1 they have to make it up somewhere

          • norwalkvirus says:

            They can’t charge more for advertising if they have a smaller share of (sports or general) viewership.

            Why would NBC want that, either? It would cost a ton of money and they would not make very much in return.

    • sucka99 says:

      Ummm the whole point of sweeps is that you don’t have repeats on. There’s no way that any world cup can compete with the NFL playoffs and college bowl games (the good ones).

    • norwalkvirus says:

      The World Cup is a bit longer than a week. Sweeps don’t get played in Sports Bars and Soccer/Football doesn’t either if something bigger to that barkeep or his customers is playing.

      FIFA moving the World Cup to Winter will make it orders of magnitude less popular and more difficult to watch in the USA.

    • norwalkvirus says:

      Also, Finals! Most of your fans are younger, many of them will be in school. It is likely to stay that way over the next 8 years. Final exams make for strange schedules and will affect any games in December (goes with the Holiday argument, too).

  3. Pete Q says:

    I’m sure FIFA gives a crap what anyone at Fox thinks.

    • Sam says:

      I’m sure fifa gives a crap over $425 million that could be potentially gone

      • Pete Q says:

        Fox already bought the rights. They will broadcast the event whenever it is held.

        Fox is also one of many broadcasters covering the event. We’re talking about a worldwide audience.

        If Fox are unhappy with this decision and decide they won’t cover the World Cup again, another American broadcaster won’t hesitate to snatch up the rights….whenever the World Cup is held.

        • eddie says:

          I don’t know the legality of these things or what the tv contracts have in them but if it states that the world cups will take place from june to july and FIFA suddenly changes it then the contract for every broadcaster is null and void and FIFA will not receive a penny. Thats why FIFA should care.

    • CTBlues says:

      If you don’t think this will affect the bidding prices when the rights come up again your are sadly mistaken.

    • Frank says:

      Considering that the US tv rights were the highest amount paid by any nation I think FIFA does give a crap.

  4. Smokey Bacon says:

    I’ll say this now. The 2022 World Cup will not be in Qatar. None of the top leagues will approve the switch to winter. Clubs will prevent their players from going if it stays scheduled for the summer. Therefore it’s a complete non starter. So stand by for a last minute switch to somewhere that can host the tournament in June. Given that Russia has it in 2018, it will likely be the United States or Mexico that has to step up.

    • Mufc77 says:

      I have to agree with you on some other country stepping in at some point. If the top clubs and leagues are against this then it won’t happen.

      Not only will a winter World Cup effect the season but it means the season prior and even the following seasons will need to be adjusted as well. What’s going to happen to champions league football in the World Cup year. I’d say the USA would be the most likely place for the WC in 2022.

    • eddie says:

      LOL @ thinking Mexico can host a World Cup in its condition. Its the most unsafe country in the world with all the cartels killing not only each other but innocent towns.

      • Christopher Harris says:

        While not as bad as Mexico, the number of deaths from guns in the United States is nothing to be proud of either.

        • norwalkvirus says:

          And traffic accidents!! Automobiles should obviously be banned.

          Please, take another shot at us.

        • Jonny says:

          The gun death numbers in the US are actually made worse than they actually are since most of those deaths are actually suicides. The other deaths are gang related where the victims are other gang members. These mass shootings are extremely rare and account for less than 1% of gun deaths. And lets face it, banning anything does squat. Look at drugs and at alcohol during prohibition, they were banned but they sure as hell werent gone. In Mexico cartels actually kill innocent people, whole towns in fact. And the deaths aren’t pretty. Even children are the victims of these monsters.

      • Smokey Bacon says:

        Oh FFS. Mexico have hosted two of the most successful world cups ever.

  5. jtm371 says:

    anything to make FIFA more of a joke then they are i am all for it.Karma when it comes around it is a b*itch.Iceland 2022!

  6. Tayo says:

    What were they smoking in Switzerland when they awarded Qatar the rights to host the world cup? I mean obviously someone in their right mind should have realized the hot summer in the area would not be suitable for the players…. oh wait they were blinded by the oil money huh… what a shame FIFA. Oh yea GOOD LUCK switching it to winter… smh

  7. IT says:

    yea get ready for a really crappy broadcast from FoxSports in 2022. It will probably be like what NBCSports and MLS are now.

  8. Dean Stell says:

    Boom! FIFA is stuck with this crap-fest. The commenters above are right: The TV networks are going to rebel and it isn’t just a US problem. Every network probably negotiated the rights and determined their bids based on a summer WC. When you run the numbers about how to price your bid, it makes a difference WHEN the event occurs.

    I just love the chaos. Qatar will rebel and the entire Middle East will take it as an insult if FIFA moves the tournament. All of European club soccer will revolt over a winter WC. The TV networks are all pissed about a bait-and-switch.

    Screw those FIFA bastards. Let them burn in this mess they’ve made. The only people I really feel sorry for are the 15 year old soccer players who may play in a screwed up WC in 2022.

  9. San Fransiscan says:

    Having been to Doha last month, I have to say that the weather is unbearable, I took a walk with my wife and my daughter in the city and we literally turned our selves back halfway through, sticky clothes and humidity humidity humidity. It’s not a place to play football in the summer, although I’ve been told the weather in winter is fantastic.

    The city shows that it’s developing a bunch of stuff and projects to be ready for the event, it will be an amazing tournament if it’s held in the winter. I’m all for it.

  10. MrMee says:

    This is the problem with the world today and here is my two cents:
    Why must Europeans dictate what the rest of the world must do? The idea that the world cup should and MUST be held in the summer is ludicrous. The world cup should not change based on the weather, and just because most of the western hemisphere happens to have summer between May and August does not mean it is ideal for everyone. Thanks to Sepp Blatter for sharing the world cup hosting rights to other continents/region (Africa, Asia) who would never have the opportunity to host. We have to realise that the world cup is not meant for Europeans and if the rest of the world is willing to adjust their leagues to accommodate a special event , then so be it. All you European Soccer Glorifiers (Especially the EPL) should also suck it up and accept the realities of the modern world. Besides, most of the leagues take Christmas/Winter breaks. Here is a perfect solution which no one is talking about…Why can’t we move the European leagues’ opening/end date forward/backward? Like say end in April 2022, and another starts in June or July so that we can have free time in early November/December (Just 30 days) for the world cup. Finally, let us understand that the world cup is a global event and every country has the same right to bid and host it. It is selfish and unfair to disenfranchise a region or country based on weather patterns alone.

    • dust says:

      LOL

      you have issues with reality…

      have a world cup without the best players in the world that play in the best leagues in the world.

      The worlds game…lol what a joke.you sir are falling for that hook line and sinker, FIFA want you to believe that because they want the worlds money LOL

      to suggest with t straight face that Europe isn’t where the best football and the best players play irrespective of their homeland is a joke.

      Have a world cup with all nations without the players in the European Leagues and see how goo it is.

      China V New Zealand a barn burner.
      USA v Canada..lol

      In-fact

      Brazil v Argentina without its european based stars and that too would be as bad as china v New Zealand.

      Mr Mee

    • Smokey Bacon says:

      You might have a shred of a case if Qatar had an established league and some world class stadiums. But they don’t. They are barely a football nation. They were awarded the World Cup because of their deep pockets alone. Nothing to do with growing the game in a new region. They are simply not up to the job of hosting a major tournament, and yes, the weather is a factor.

    • Mufc77 says:

      We do what we want, we do what we want. We’re European football snobs and we do what we want.

    • eddie says:

      How does FIFA have a right to change the dates of any league of any country? They don’t play the players anything, the clubs do. In fact its the clubs who actually ALLOW FIfa to hold power in any significant way. The clubs are not legally bound to allow a player play for his country if the European Clubs don’t renew their contract with FIFA which is in 2014 or 2015 if I’m not mistaken.

  11. dust says:

    I back fox on this, I hope they can move th needle, its unlikely 1 broadcaster cn do it, unless they have the rights in othetr countries too.

    FIFA should absolutely pull the WC from being hosted in Qatar…its an absolute farce, winter, summer or spring.

    its a joke a decision with so much corruption at its base its ridiculous

    • Mufc77 says:

      Top clubs refusing to release players along with pressure from the top leagues and broadcasters would put a end to this farce in no time.

  12. nickp91 says:

    I’m actually surprised that we haven’t seen other broadcasters complaining from around the world

  13. CTBlues says:

    There is also a little thing called the Olympics going on in winter 2022.

    • yespage says:

      I think those would be on the early end of 2022 (Jan/Feb), where as the World Cup would be the late end of 2022 (Nov/Dec). I may be mistaken, however.

  14. Mark Page says:

    Hey Fox…..

    You lie down you dogs, you get fleas. FIFA and UEFA are the most corrupt sporting organizations in the world, what did you expect when you dealt with those dirtbags? You made a deal with the Devil, now deal with it…

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