NEWS
10/27/2011 04:29 EDT | Updated 12/26/2011 05:12 EST

FIFA completes $1.85B in World Cup TV deals, adding Australia, Canada to bumper US deal

GENEVA - Bell Media, which includes CTV, TSN and RDS, has won the Canadian TV rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup soccer tournaments.

The package also includes the 2015 Women's World Cup, which Canada is hosting.

CBC holds the Canadian FIFA TV rights through the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and bid unsuccessfully to extend those rights, a spokesman confirmed.

The full Bell Media programming package includes other FIFA events between 2015 and 2022 including the Women’s World Cup in 2019 along with the FIFA men's and women's U-20 and U-17 World Cups, FIFA Confederations Cup, FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and FIFA Futsal World Cup.

"FIFA can expect Bell Media's coverage to not only serve avid Canadian soccer fans but also showcase their marquee events to non-traditional sports fans," Phil King, president of CTV programming and sports, said in a statement.

The Canadian deal concluded FIFA's bumper week of World Cup business with broadcast deals worth US$1.85 billion for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, the governing body announced Thursday.

The deals include an estimated $1.2 billion earned from United States broadcast right sales to Fox, Telemundo and Futbol de Primera Radio. Those deals were confirmed last Friday.

FIFA, which did not put a figure to the Canadian TV deal, said Thursday that it also sold rights to SBS in Australia, and IMC across the Caribbean.

"FIFA is delighted with the progress of our media rights sales to date which, coming amid austere economic times, more than confirm the strength and appeal of our competitions," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said.

The deals also confirm the lure and enduring value of FIFA's signature event after a year of financial and election scandals and negative headlines.

FIFA also came under scrutiny over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to Russia and Qatar last December.

FIFA said it also chose Swiss-based agency Infront Sports and Media in a tender process to handle sales across 26 Asian territories including China, India and Indonesia.

"Infront offered the best package for this important and very complex project both in financial as well as marketing aspects," Niclas Ericson, FIFA's director of television, said in a statement released by Infront.

Infront has long been scrutinized by FIFA's critics.

The Zug-based agency has close connections to FIFA's discredited former marketing partner ISL, which went bankrupt in 2001 and is once more at the centre of allegations regarding kickbacks paid to senior FIFA officials in the 1990s.

Infront has been led since 2006 by Philippe Blatter, now its president and chief executive, who is a nephew of FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

FIFA is marketing the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in a package, after concluding two-tournament deals for the 2010-2014 finals in South Africa and Brazil.

The deals include rights to all FIFA competitions, including the Women's World Cup in 2015 and 2019, plus age-group tournament finals.

In March, FIFA said a first wave of 2018-2022 sales raised $1.7 billion from the Middle East and parts of Asia and Latin America. Those deals earned 90 per cent more than their 2010-2014 value.

FIFA's final accounts for the four-year financial cycle linked to the 2010 World Cup showed $2.4 billion in broadcast sales worldwide.

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With files from The Associated Press