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ITV look to pinch women’s World Cup rights from BBC next year

EXCLUSIVE: ITV will try to pinch Women’s World Cup rights from the BBC as they look to capitalise on the explosion of interest in Sarina Wiegman’s Euro 2022 champions

  • ITV launch a bid to gain live broadcast rights for England’s World Cup campaign
  • They are keen to capitalise on the explosion of interest in Sarina Wiegman’s side
  • However, the BBC have held the exclusive UK rights for the last two World Cups 

ITV have launched a bid to gain live broadcast rights for England’s World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand next year in an attempt to capitalise on the explosion of interest in Sarina Wiegman’s European champions.

The BBC have held the exclusive UK rights for the last two World Cups, as well as England’s historic European Championship campaign, but now face competition from other broadcasters, with FIFA running a competitive rights auction for the competition for the first time.

FIFA have previously given away the TV rights to the women’s World Cup for free to the broadcasters of the men’s World Cup, which has enabled the BBC to cover the last two tournaments without paying any fees.

ITV have launched a bid to gain live broadcast rights for England’s World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand next year after Sarina Wiegman’s captured the nation’s hearts

But the world governing body have concluded that given the increased viewing figures, the competition will be able to attract significant bids in its own right.

England’s 2-1 extra-time win over Germany on Sunday was watched by a peak TV audience of 17.4million on BBC One, with a further 5.9m watching online, making it the most watched TV programme of the year, with more than a third of the population tuning in.

The 87,192 crowd at Wembley was also a record for any European Championships match, male or female.

England won the European Championships on Sunday after beating Germany in extra time

England won the European Championships on Sunday after beating Germany in extra time 

In another sign of the growing commercial appeal of the women’s game, FIFA are understood to have offered multiple rights packages to broadcasters for the first time.

England’s games and the final are protected after the Government added them to the list of events that must be shown on free-to-air television earlier this year.

That will lead to a head-to-head battle between the BBC and ITV, although FIFA have also created other packages featuring matches specifically for non-terrestrial channels, such as Sky Sports.

England's victory was watched by a peak TV audience of 17.4million on BBC One, with a further 5.9m watching online, making it the most watched TV programme of the year

England’s victory was watched by a peak TV audience of 17.4million on BBC One, with a further 5.9m watching online, making it the most watched TV programme of the year

The Women’s Super League agreed a record £15m-a-year joint TV deal with Sky Sports and the BBC last year, a figure expected to be exceeded given the bidding war for the World Cup rights.

The 32-team finals will be played from July 20 to August 20 in 2023 across nine host cities in Australia and New Zealand, with the morning kick-off times in the UK likely to appeal to families, particularly during the school holidays.

The first round of bids have already been submitted to FIFA, with a decision expected later this month.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk