Moya Dodd, a former Fifa Council member, has criticised the threat made by Gianni Infantino regarding the broadcast blackout of the Women’s World Cup in Europe this year. She has also accused Fifa of undervaluing the tournament.
This year, Fifa is selling TV rights to the women’s tournament separately from the men’s, and president Infantino has stated that Europe’s “Big 5” nations could face a blackout unless broadcasters offer more acceptable prices.
Broadcasters from Britain, Spain, France, Germany and Italy had offered between $1 million to $10 million for the rights, compared to the men’s World Cup, which was sold for between $100 million and $200 million.
Dodd, a former Australia international, claims that the broadcast industry had undervalued the women’s tournament in the past because Fifa had sold the rights together with the men’s.
She argues that now that Fifa is selling the rights separately, it is not surprising that buyers do not want to pay big numbers twice.
“Now that Fifa has decided to sell the rights separately, it’s no surprise that the buyers don’t want to pay the same big numbers twice,” Dodd told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Dodd goes on to state that the industry was trained to pay large sums of money for the men’s World Cup and to treat the women’s equivalent as worthless.
“Effectively, the industry was trained to pay big money for the men’s World Cup and treat the women’s equivalent as worthless. At the same time, the women were told they didn’t deserve prize money or equal pay because they didn’t bring the revenues.
“It’s actually quite outrageous. For Fifa to now say that all women’s revenues will go straight into women’s football overlooks the fact that the value of the women’s rights have until now been used to inflate the value of men’s football.”
She argues that the women were told they did not deserve prize money or equal pay because they did not bring in the revenues.
Dodd believes that instead of threatening broadcasters, Fifa should review all of its bundled deals and attribute a fair proportion to the women’s game.
She adds that if the Women’s World Cup gets 50-60% of the viewership of the men’s, as Fifa claims, it should amount to a sum in the billions.
“If in fact the Women’s World Cup gets 50-60 per cent of the viewers of the men’s, as Fifa says, that should amount to a sum in the billions,” she added.
The Women’s World Cup is scheduled to take place from July 20-August 20 in Australia and New Zealand.