Oceania has long been considered the weakest of FIFA’s six confederations, especially since Australia departed for the Asian Confederation in 2006. But FIFA’s new streaming platform, FIFA+, ensures Oceania football remains visible by providing global coverage of all Oceana Football Confederation (OFC) tournaments and competitions over the next two years.

Broadcasting Oceania matches worldwide presents challenges, especially in major markets like the United States where substantial time zone differences make live viewing impractical. But on-demand streaming allows fans to watch matches on their schedules. By exposing Oceania football to larger audiences, FIFA+ can accelerate development in a region where the game has struggled to gain traction.

The deal comes at a time when Oceania is guaranteed a place in future 32-team FIFA World Cup tournaments. Many believe greater visibility and training resources unlocked by FIFA’s investment in the region will strengthen Oceania’s national teams.

Oceania finds a good match in FIFA+

The arrangement began earlier this month with FIFA+’s live broadcasts of the Oceania Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament held in Samoa. Upcoming events on FIFA+ for a global streaming audience are thorough. For example, fans can watch the OFC Women’s Champions League from the Solomon Islands and the Men’s Nations Cup Qualifying. The latter is happening in Tonga.

FIFA+ represents a major shift in content delivery for football fans. The streaming platform is available across multiple popular devices. For example, smart TVs, tablets and phones have access. Using those, FIFA+ offers live matches from nearly every corner of the globe. The streaming service has apps for smart TVs from Samsung, LG, and Android TVs. It is also accessible on tablets and phones with iOS and Android software. FIFA+ is also available on FAST channel platforms including Samsung TV Plus, LG Channels, VIDAA Channels, The Roku Channel, and Rakuten TV. The service also provides an extensive archive of historical games and original documentary programming.

Streaming platform means more than just exposure

For Oceania federations, selling media rights to FIFA+ generates critical revenue that can accelerate football development. “We have expanded commercially through selling our live streaming, media and data rights for the next two years,” noted OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo.

Oceania has a guaranteed World Cup place with new visibility and resources courtesy of FIFA+. Therefore, the area Oceania football can nurture talent and gain fans both regionally and across the globe. Streamed Oceania matches may attract few viewers today, but accessible content builds audiences over time. And emerging Pacific stars developed with FIFA’s support in the coming years may shine in World Cups to come.

Also, with the prospect of Australia being in contention to host a World Cup, development of soccer as a whole is at the forefront for FIFA in the area. With more opportunity on the field, fans in Oceania will have a higher ceiling. Seeing the qualification process can show fans the smaller nations or clubs in the World Cup and Club World Cup. Both of those competitions are undergoing expansions in the coming years.