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Push to Firm Women's World Cup TV Rights

FILE: Haitian goalkeeper Kerly Theus, left, and fellow teammate Esthericove Joseph, post alongside the Women’s World Cup trophy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, April 15, 2023. A FIFA delegation is showing the trophy to all 32 nations participating in the tournament.

PARIS - Five European sports ministers called on Wednesday for "all stakeholders to swiftly find an arrangement" for TV broadcast of the women's football World Cup in July-August.

"Given the high potential for this competition and the sporting and social stakes attached to it, we see it as our duty to mobilise all stakeholders so they can swiftly find an arrangement," the French, German, Italian, Spanish and British ministers said in a statement published in Paris.

The ministers acknowledged "legitimate interests and budgetary constraints weighing both on rights-holders and independent broadcasters," as well as "specific organizational constraints likely to affect the 'market value'" of the rights.

But French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera told broadcaster France 2 on Wednesday that "FIFA will probably have to be less greedy and remember that the timing throws up hurdles" to profiting from the competition.

She and her colleagues Nancy Faeser (Germany), Miquel Iceta i Llorens (Spain), Andrea Abodi (Italy) and Lucie Frazer (Britain) insisted that "media exposure for women's sport has a very significant impact on the development of sporting participation by women and girls."

FIFA's general secretary Fatma Samoura recently told AFP that TV broadcasters should buy the women's football rights "at a fair price."

"Should the offers continue not to be fair (towards women and women's football), we will be forced not to broadcast the FIFA Women's World Cup into the 'Big Five' European countries," FIFA boss Gianni Infantino warned in an Instagram post in early May.

This year's tournament will be played in Australia and New Zealand at awkward hours for European broadcasters, compelling either recorded events for later playback - or, staging them live in Europe's night.