Telemundo is paying $600 million for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Spanish-language U.S. rights and Fox is paying between $400 to $500 million to broadcast the games in English in the U.S.
Although a Telemundo spokesman said they were not disclosing details of the financial agreement, The Wrap, B&C, The Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated are reporting inside sources familiar with the bidding revealed the stunning $1 billion dollar combined pricetag.
Univision paid $325 million for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup rights. ESPN paid $100 million.
The Telemundo deal includes exclusive U.S. Spanish-language all platform media rights (excluding radio) for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, FIFA Confederations Cup and all Under-20 and Under-17 FIFA World Cup matches in this time period. The all-encompassing media agreement also includes exclusive coverage and promotion of FIFA soccer events across multiple NBCUniversal properties including Spanish-language broadcast and cable television, Internet, broadband, wireless and Video-On-Demand.
“This landmark deal for Telemundo represents perhaps the greatest milestone in its history,” Lauren Zalaznick, chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media, said in a statement. “The acquisition of the FIFA World Cup, one of the world’s great sporting events, speaks directly to the commitment NBCUniversal has made in the future of Telemundo and to our diverse U.S. Hispanic communities that we serve.”
According to a release, Zalaznick was on a plane flying home from Zurich when the deal was officially announced.
How will Telemundo justifiy the expense? The WSJ reports “one person familiar with the thinking at Telemundo parent NBCUniversal said that the network hopes to use the World Cup as a way to wrangle paid subscription fees from cable and satellite operators in coming years.”