NEWS
12/14/2011 05:35 EST | Updated 02/13/2012 05:12 EST

FIFA invites European broadcasters to bid for 2018-2022 World Cup rights deals

ZURICH - FIFA invited broadcasters in more than 40 European countries on Wednesday to bid for rights to show the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

FIFA has already signed two-tournament deals in the United States, Middle East and Latin America at considerably higher prices than the respective 2010-2014 World Cup deals.

FIFA earned $2.4 billion (€1.84 billion) in broadcast deals tied to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It will bank more from the 2014 event in Brazil.

FIFA has already secured contracts worth $3.5 billion (€2.7 billion) for the 2018-2022 events hosted by Russia and Qatar, a clear sign that the World Cup's popularity has not been hit by the governing body's damaged reputation after a series of corruption scandals.

FIFA's objective in Europe is "reaching the widest possible audience and financial targets," Niclas Ericson, director of the governing body's TV division, said in a statement.

FIFA wants broadcasters in markets including Germany, Italy and Turkey to submit offers by Feb. 3. Negotiations are set to start the following week.

The tender doesn't include France, Spain or the United Kingdom.

FIFA earns close to 90 per cent of its overall income from World Cup revenue, including sponsorship, hospitality and licensing deals.

In the 2007-10 financial cycle, FIFA generated $4.19 billion (€3.2 billion) in total revenue. It currently has reserves of nearly $1.3 billion (€1 billion).