Just three days before the kick-off of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the association made the last minute decision to broadcast all the matches of the soccer tournament live free of charge for the whole Brazilian territory through its new streaming platform, called FIFA+. The first medium to publish the news was Brazilian website UOL. The coverage of the World Cup will mark the OTT’s debut as far as live streaming of important competitions is concerned, since it has not live streamed significant tournaments in any other country so far. The opening match will be played on November 20 by Qatar and Ecuador and the final is scheduled for December 18.
It is possible for FIFA to live stream the World Cup matches in Brazil because it owns the rights to broadcast the tournament over the Internet following a renegotiation of the agreement with Globo that resulted in the loss of exclusivity by the audiovisual giant. Brazilian company LiveMode will be in charge of production work and will provide journalism staff. It is important to mention that a few days ago the company closed an agreement with FIFA in order that local streamer Casimiro Miguel may live stream some of the matches on Twitch and YouTube. It is also worth noting that Globo keeps its exclusive license to broadcast the tournament in Brazil on Free To Air TV (TV Globo) and Pay TV (SporTV). It will also broadcast the matches over the Internet, on a non-exclusive basis, through its OTT Globoplay.
According to UOL, the World Cup coverage in Brazil will be useful to FIFA insofar as it will make it possible to assess viewers’ response and sponsorship revenue.