Armchair viewers throughout the Pacific Islands will be able to watch live broadcasts of FIFA Women’s World Cup matches for free after a deal struck between organisers and an Auckland-based content distributor.
FIFA have awarded free-to-air broadcast rights for games in New Zealand and Australia to the Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL).
PCBL will distribute the tournament to 24 free-to-air broadcasters in the Pacific islands and will ensure at least one match a day will be available for free in each of the territories.
Territories are Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Federation States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and American Samoa.
Established in 2015, PCBL is funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade with the aim of building stronger relationships in the Pacific by supporting the media sector.
‘A first for Oceania’
FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman, said:
“We are delighted to work with Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited to ensure that all fans across the Pacific region can follow the matches live from the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.
“This is the first time the tournament will be taking place in Oceania, so it is a great opportunity for football fans of all ages to be inspired by the greatest names in our sport, competing in women’s football’s premier competition, in a time zone where they can watch all the action unfold in the early to late evening.”
Meanwhile, the stalemate between organisers and European broadcasters has ended with the striking of a deal.
FIFA has announced it has reach a collective deal with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) that will ensure matches are broadcast in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Tournament expected to draw huge television audience
The tournament kicks off on July 20, with co-hosts New Zealand playing Norway in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau.
Since its inception in 1991, the FIFA Women’s World Cup has grown exponentially to claim the crown of the most-watched single-sport event for women globally.
The most recent edition – France 2019 – attracted a record audience of more than 1.1 billion viewers and smashed domestic viewing figures in many territories.
FIFA says the sale of media rights for its football tournaments generates income essential to support and develop football around the world. FIFA offers eight Women’s Football Development Programmes to its 211 Member Associations globally.
Main photo credit: Norbert Braun / Unsplash.