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Midday Ticker: FIFA extends FOX’s World Cup TV deal; Ivanovic cleared following altercation; and more



FOX Sports’ deal to broadcast the next couple World Cup tournaments got a bit sweeter on Thursday.

Without a new round of bidding, FIFA extended FOX’s broadcast rights through to the 2026 men’s World Cup. The previous deal that had been awarded after a round of bidding was through the 2022 World Cup.

“These agreements guarantee wide distribution for FIFA tournaments across the U.S. and Canada,” said FIFA Director of TV Niclas Ericson in a statement. “Together, we will be able to further promote football in North America and build on the impressive interest shown by audiences in these major territories during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.”

FOX beat out ESPN and other American broadcasters during bidding in 2011, with FOX reportedly putting up $425 million to take over coverage starting with the 2015 Women’s World Cup and ending with the 2022 men’s tournament.

With the broadcast rights, which now extend to 2026, FOX will air both the men’s and women’s World Cups, plus the under-20 and under-17 tournaments and the Confederations Cup.

Here are more of Thursday’s worldwide news and notes:


Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic escaped punishment for grabbing and pushing his head into Everton’s James McCarthy during a scuffle Wednesday, a gesture some speculated may have been an attempted bite.

But England’s Football Association still doled out punishments Thursday, charging both clubs for “for failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour.”

Both clubs will have until Tuesday to respond to the charges if they wish to appeal.

The FA’s three-man review panel of former referees did not find Ivanovic’s conduct “worthy of a dismissal,” the FA said. In the 86th minute of play, Ivanovic had grabbed McCarthy around the neck and pushed his head into McCarthy’s shoulder.


Eden Hazard is now tied to Chelsea through 2020, the club announced Thursday.

The 24-year-old striker has signed a five-and-a-half year deal and manager Jose Mourinho said last week he was expecting the Belgian international to stick around.

“I am very happy to sign a new contract with Chelsea,” Hazard said in a statement. “Since I came here in 2012 I have always felt good and the club has been very supportive to me. The manager has helped me improve a lot, the fans have been fantastic and I have an amazing understanding with my team-mates.”

Chealsea’s Player of the Year, Hazard has continued to be a force within the team this season, scoring 13 goals in 36 appearances.


Rangers goalkeeper Steve Simonsen has been suspended for betting on soccer matches.

The 35-year-old has been handed a two-game ban after being convicted by an independent panel of betting on 55 matches.

The Scottish Football Association can appeal the decision, but the Rangers have said they will accept the decision.

None of matches that Simonsen placed bets on involved Rangers.


QPR’s interim manager will get to stick around a bit longer. Coach Chris Ramsey has been given the top job until the end of the season, the club announced Thursday.

Ramsey, 52, had been put in charge after Harry Redknapp quit earlier this month to have knee surgery.

He had previously made it clear he was keen to replace Redknapp, telling reporters: “If you got offered the chance to coach a Premier League team you would jump at the chance.”

Ramsey, a former England U-20 manager, joined Rangers’ coaching staff last year after a long stint heading up player development at Tottenham Hotspur’s academy.


Bryan Ruiz isn’t going anywhere. The forward will stay with Fulham after a proposed loan switch to Spanish side Levante fell apart.

Fulham said they had completed necessary paperwork to send Ruiz to Levante before the Spanish transfer window closed at the end of January, but FIFA denied the request.

“It’s obviously very disappointing for the player and Levante. It’s a situation that we can unfortunately do nothing about,” said Fulham coach Kit Symons.

Ruiz joined Fullham in 2011 for a reported $16.3 million from FC Twente and is out of contract with Fulham this summer.


What do you think of FOX getting another World Cup from FIFA? Do you think Ivanovic should have been punished for Wednesday’s incident?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Its almost as if FIFA wanted a Winter World Cup. Not that they are that clever. But they are that under handed. Its possible, Qatar was given the World Cup just so FIFA could compete (don’t know why) with the other American Sports on TV.

    2022 seems a lifetime away. But the 7 years will fly.

    I wouldn’t worry over the Fox World Cup presentation. They will keep Lalas & Twellman & Co. It will be very similar to ESPN. And Fox, will do very well with a crowded sports calendar. They will show NFL on the main Fox channel. And show the World Cup on Fox Sports, FX, Fox Business and Fox News.

  2. Almost all the speculation seems to be that this move was made in compensation to Fox for moving the 2022 WC to the winter.
    It makes sense. There’s far more competition in Dec/Jan than there is in June/July, but getting another WC under the current terms without it going to open bid is a big enough steal for Fox to be satisfied.

    • That was wear my head went when I read this as well. Fox is getting a bonus for playing nice when FIFA drives hard for a winter World Cup. Extending those rights for another cycle is pretty valuable, especially considering the growth of the sport in this country. Very interesting…

  3. the world cup will always be awesome tv and the American audience is exponentially growing. that said, if I had to pick; Brazil (3 time zones different, et to rio) and South Africa (7 time zones different) or Russia and Qatar (8 hour difference *doha/moscow to et); id defiantly pick the ’10 & ’14 wc’s! Plus you have all the nonsense in Russia/Qatar that relatively speaking RSA & Brazil were lighter on. Now the kicker of the 2026 WC.. that changes the whole argument, fox has certainly figured out how to strike a deal with fifa.

    hope fox steps the production up big time. they appear to be where most of the soccer i want to watch will be on for the foreseeable future. Right now espn is a far better network.

  4. If only Murdock (spelling?) was willing to stand up against or use his influence to alter the disaster that is the Qatar 22 World Cup, at least from an American perspective. Now, the USSF indirectly looks like chumps, even though it was out of their hands. The ONLY possible good that might come from this is if this was a move to gain favor not just to Fox, but possibly get the 2026 World Cup over here. That’s probably wishful thinking…

    • This is a clear sign to me that the WC is staying in Qatar, and that it will be held in the winter. Fox holds rights to the king of US sports, the NFL. It also broadcasts college football. That means that during a winter WC, FOX will have bid for competitive big time sports. I think that the extension is a clear sign that the WC stays in Qatar because FIFA is giving Fox additional broadcast rights not to back out of an event that has changed seasons.

      • Yup. I mean, FIFA didn’t even put it up for bid. That is a clear cut “under the table” handshake deal. With the USSF voting against Blatter and the US losing the media “leverage” through this deal, we might not get the cup again for another 20 years at least…

    • I agree…Fifa just essentially forfeited $200 Million in TV revenue in order to have a winter world cup. I guess it doesn’t matter to them because they got bought off anyway.

  5. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!@!!


    ESPN has done such a great job over the past couple cups and has really showcased the WC in the right way. I can’t wait for FOXSports to F it up over the next decade. Please no Gus Johnson.

    • Gus stepped down a while ago.. relax.

      Also, broadcasters are hired guns, so you’ll see Martin Tyler and the rest of the ESPN/Sky/NBC usuals working the World Cup. The in-studio team will have Lalas to keep the ginger quota up, and whoever else will likely be a “former national team player”.


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