Biennial World Cup could cost domestic leagues and UEFA €8bn in lost TV rights says study

Biennial World Cups would cost domestic leagues and UEFA around €8 billion in lost TV rights, match day agreements, and commercial agreements, according to a study commissioned by domestic leagues.

The report focuses on the Big Five European leagues, MLS (United States), Liga MX (Mexico), J1 League (Japan) and the South African Premier Division.

It concludes that even the least disruptive staging of a biennial tournament would cost them billions annually.

The 40 biggest domestic leagues could lose as much as €5 billion per season in audio-visual deals alone — a figure projected by the loss of one billion euros a year in visual rights due to a lower number of fixtures, €1.75 billion because of a shortened calendar, and another €901 million for changes in the schedule.

Enders Analysis senior analyst François Godard said holding a biennial World Cup would be very risky.

“My worry is that at some point demand collapses. The risk of a sudden dramatic drop is huge if you weaken the main product (the national leagues),” he told Reuters.

“If you change to this new model with a World Cup every two years, and games have to be moved from the weekend to midweek ,and you have a shorter overall season, and some players might not be available at some point, you weaken your core product.”


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