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Friday Kickoff: Fox pays 10 percent more for 2026 WC; Osvaldo leads Boca in Libertadores; and more



After winning the bidding war for the rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Fox was given an inside track to acquiring the 2026 rights.

The company took full advantage.

FIFA was reportedly not interested in getting into a legal tiff over the 2022 World Cup after it was suggested earlier this week that the tournament in Qatar be moved to the winter. As a result, Fox was awarded the rights to the 2026 tournament for about 10 percent more than its current World Cup deals, which are worth $425 million, according to the New York Times.

ESPN president John Skipper told the New York Times that FIFA was likely “forced to do it in order to avoid legal consequences.” Meanwhile, Univision president Juan Carlos Rodriguez, whose company was not given the chance to bid in favor of 2022 and 2026 rights holder Telemundo, stated that FIFA failed to maximize revenue in the U.S.

Rodriguez also believes that the agreement jeopardizes the chances of the 2026 World Cup coming to the United States, because it is not usual for FIFA to sell TV rights before the host nation of a tournament is chosen.

“If the rights are already fixed, there’s little incentive to FIFA to award 2026 to the U.S.,” Rodriguez said. “If we had been asked to bid, we would have taken it very seriously.”

Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Friday morning:


Dani Osvaldo marked his debut for Boca Juniors in special fashion.

The forward, who most recently played for Inter Milan, scored the game-winner for his new club, leading Boca Juniors to a 2-1 victory over Montevideo Wanderers in Copa Libertadores action on Thursday.

Osvaldo scored his winner just before halftime and was joined on the scoresheet by Juan Komar, ensuring the team would record its second win in as many group stage games.

Here are the rest of the results from Thursday’s Copa Libertadores action:

Palestino 1 – o Zamora

Internacional 3 – 1 Universidad de Chile

Santa Fe 3 – 1 Colo Colo


Manchester United looks likely to lose forward Robin Van Persie for an extended period of time.

Manager Louis Van Gaal says the forward will be out for “a long time” after suffering an ankle injury in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea. Van Persie suffered damaged ligaments and was seen leaving the stadium on crutches.

“He has an ankle problem, so I don’t think it is heavy, but an ankle problem takes a long time,” said Van Gaal. “It’s not one or two weeks, but we will have to wait and see.”

Van Persie has scored 10 goals for Manchester United this season.


Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have returned to full training ahead of Real Madrid’s matchup with Villareal on Sunday. (REPORT)

Chelsea has agreed to a record-breaking five-year shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama Rubber. (REPORT)

Dunkin’ Donuts has apologized to Liverpool fans after modifying the club’s crest to include coffees and the company’s slogan. (REPORT)

Sergio Busquets has signed a new deal to remain at Barcelona until 2019. (REPORT)

Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng’s agent says the Borussia Dortmund forward is unlikely to leave the club in favor of Inter Milan. (REPORT)

What do you think about the latest news regarding the rights to the 2026 World Cup? Which team do you see as favorite in the Copa Libertadores? How will Manchester United fare without Van Persie?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I just hope Fox ups its game over the next 12 years. I have always found their coverage to be markedly inferior to that of ESPN and NBC.

  2. Dunkin’ Donuts, one of Liverpool’s official sponsors, has apologised after upsetting fans by tweeting an altered version of the club’s crest that replaced the Hillsborough eternal flames with what appeared to be milkshakes

    “We apologise for any insensitivity regarding our tweet supporting an LFC-themed promotion featuring the LFC crest.”

    Liverpool fans, once again, making a mountain out of a molehill.

    • Not at all. I’m not a Liverpool supporter but DD should have known better. The friends and family of the 96 dead might disagree about the molehill characterization.

      • “Known better.”

        I’d rather not get into the extremes a minority of these “fans” have gone when others have talked about the topic, gave their opinions on the topic or made a harmless mistake on the topic.

        Most people have experienced losses of life in their close circle. Some for more extreme/sensitive circumstances than others. It’s a coffee. It’s trivial.

        If a coffee ad tugs at your heart strings, given how obviously unintentional the gaffe may be, then you have greater issues that need to be addressed. Scolding DD isn’t one of those pressing issues.

  3. Beto – yes, the premise is that US media companies would pay thru the teeth to have rights for a local WC. As such, that’s extra revenue now lost on the sweetheart deal with fox. The US will be just as lucrative in later years, and FIFA could collect full media $$ in 2030 or 2034.

  4. So he is saying that bc it wasnt a competitive bid fifa doesnt plan on hosting 2026 in ultra lucrative USA? I didn’t make that connection right away but sure I follow the logic.

  5. And the Guardian says this means the 2026 is more likely to be in the US so who knows? Obviously the TV rights are a lot more valuable if it’s here.

    • My first thought upon hearing the news was that FIFA would award 2026 to the US. Fox got a sweetheart deal for the incredibly valuable 2026 property because a winter cup in 2022 wasn’t what they had in mind when they bidded on that property. FIFA had to avoid a lawsuit over 2022 because US broad discovery rules would have opened up a can of worms.

      • The people suggesting there would be football – soccer conflict do know there’s a 9 hour time difference, ie, games would be played in the Northern Hemisphere night or morning. Even an 8 pm start would be 11 am here (and you could avoid those on purpose to avoid conflict). Kind of like, you know, those EPL games we watch over breakfast are afternoon games there, or afternoon CL is a night game? Since the games wouldn’t be running on the same time schedule as afternoon and night football here it’s a fake argument. If Fox thought they could get concessions — and look, they did — the reality might not have stopped them arguing, though. Look what they got for moaning.

        The potential actual conflict would be European league play (and viewership) versus World Cup but presumably the leagues make way and render that null.

        Site decisions should be deliberately made, handing us the World Cup without a real vote to make up for revenue claims wouldn’t be much better than how Russia and Qatar got theirs. Money shouldn’t decide all this.

      • You’ve messed up your time zones and minimized the impact. Qatar is Arabian Standard Time. That’s UTC+3:00. Eastern Standard Time is UTC-5:00. No one is on DST or Summer time at that point of the year. The difference is eight hours. Your 2000 AST start is at 1200 EST. Sunday games would hit Europe at 1700 GMT, 1800 CET, and 1900 EET. Ideally, the organizers would like that game to be an hour later for Europe, but then you’re starting at the same time as the 1300 EST NFL games. If you start at 2000 AST, you’ll only confict for about an hour with the NFL in the US, but that still means you’ll be on cable.

        Finally… Qatar is also in the northern hemisphere. Did you mean western hemisphere?

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