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BBC, ITV, ARD and ZDF sign World Cup TV deals

08 June 2014 | Posted in Broadcast, Soccer, Global, | By David Cushnan

BBC, ITV, ARD and ZDF sign World Cup TV deals

Fifa has confirmed that it has sold the UK broadcast rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to the BBC and ITV.

The German rights to the 2022 tournament, due to be staged in Qatar, have been awarded to free-to-air broadcasters ARD and ZDF, which had already picked up the rights to Russia 2018.

The deals were confirmed following a meeting of Fifa's executive committee in São Paulo on Saturday, just days before the start of this year's World Cup in Brazil.

No financial details were immediately available, although when ARD and ZDF acquired the 2018 rights, in April 2012, they were believed to have paid €200 million. The UK rights to the 2010 and 2014 tournaments are believed to have sold for UK£220 million in total.

In the UK, the BBC and ITV have shared the rights to world soccer's biggest competition since 1966, when the tournament was staged in, and won by, England. The broadcasters have split the group stage games for Brazil 2014, with both set to broadcast the final.

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater said: "It is fantastic news that the pinnacle event in world football will continue to be available free of charge for everyone in the UK."

Her equivalent at ITV, Niall Sloane, added: "The excitement building on the eve of this summer's tournament in Brazil demonstrates how the World Cup offers a shared, collective experience for people across the UK.

"So we're thrilled to be able to look forward to bringing the next two World Cups free to air to viewers in 2018 and 2022."

The 2014 World Cup begins on Thursday, when hosts Brazil play Croatia. ITV will broadcast the game in the UK.

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