ITV, BBC Announce Joint Broadcast Deal For Next Two World Cups
ITV and the BBC "announced a new deal to cover the next two World Cups -- despite increasing uncertainty over where and when the 2022 tournament will be held," according to Munnery & Elks of the LONDON TIMES. The joint broadcasting contract "covers TV, radio and online and will take the number of continuous tournaments they have broadcast together to 16, ensuring the World Cup remains on free-to-air television." For broadcasters, however, there is also the issue of when the World Cup will take place in '22. The original bid was won on the premise the tournament would take place in the summer but, with concerns over oppressive summer temperatures of 50C in Qatar, "there is a groundswell of support to move the World Cup to the winter." FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke has said that the 2022 tournament "would be held in the winter to avoid the summer heat, but the switch would have a knock-on effect with US broadcasters for whom World Cup rights would be devalued when up against the NFL, college football, the NBA and the NHL" (LONDON TIMES, 6/8). The 2018 World Cup will be the 14th straight World Cup covered by ITV and BBC (ITV).
COLOMBIA BLACKOUT? BLOOMBERG's Laya & Jenkins reported after a 16-year wait for their team to play in the World Cup, millions of Colombians "may not be able to watch a single game at home." A week before the tournament’s opening ceremony, pay-TV operators America Movil SAB, Telefonica SA and UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones SA "are determining whether they need to remove the games’ broadcasters from their channel lineups after a decision from Colombia’s antitrust regulator." The agency, known as SIC, said in a ruling this week that the operators "must have broadcasters’ permission to carry their signals -- sending other government officials racing to sort out the legal implications." SIC’s ruling "struck at the heart of an intensifying dispute between cable companies and broadcasters." Colombia’s pay-TV operators "have been required to retransmit RCN Television’s and Caracol’s TV signals." Now the broadcasters "are asking the carriers to start paying a fee for the use of their signals -- and the cable companies are refusing" (BLOOMBERG, 6/6).