By RYAN TOLMICH
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:
OSVALDO LEADS BOCA JUNIORS IN COPA LIBERTADORES
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
VAN PERSIE FACING ‘LONG TIME’ ON SIDELINES WITH INJURY
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.