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BBC & ITV announce Womens World Cup rights

The BBC and ITV have agreed a deal with FIFA to broadcast the Women's World Cup in the UK, five weeks before the tournament begins.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino had threatened a European TV blackout if rights offers were not improved.

But the deal with football's governing body will allow domestic viewers to watch matches when the tournament begins in Australia and New Zealand.

European champions England first play in Brisbane on 22 July against Haiti.

All 64 matches from the tournament will be broadcast in the UK on either the BBC or ITV, except for the final on 20 August, which will be shown across both BBC One and ITV1.

The BBC will also broadcast live audio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra, with fans able to listen to 5 Live coverage on BBC Sounds, DAB radio and the BBC Sport website and app.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: "We have shown every Women's World Cup on the BBC since 1999 and we are happy to extend our partnership with FIFA for the upcoming tournament.

"The growth of the women's game is extraordinary, demonstrated by the 28 million who watched BBC coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup and the huge audience of 17.4 million who watched our coverage of the Euro 2022 final last summer on TV.

"In partnership with ITV, we are delighted to make this World Cup available to the widest possible audience and free to air."

ITV will show coverage of half of the tournament's matches across ITV1 and ITV4 with simulcast and catch-up on ITVX.

Niall Sloane, ITV director of sport, said: "We're delighted to be able to bring comprehensive coverage of the Women's World Cup, free to air to our audiences with both live and highlights broadcasts across ITV and ITVX.

"This tournament promises to provide memorable moments with the popularity of women's football continuing to grow."

The BBC and ITV have partnered with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), an alliance of public service media organisations, for the deal.

FIFA said it had agreed with the EBU to "extend their existing media right partnership", which ensures the Women's World Cup will be shown on free-to-air linear TV across 34 European territories.

World football's governing body added the deal includes "a substantial additional commitment to the regular transmission of women's football content beyond the tournament".

"FIFA is delighted to widen the deal with the European Broadcasting Union for the transmission of the upcoming Women's World Cup to include the five major markets within their existing networks, namely France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, as well as Ukraine, thus ensuring maximum exposure for the tournament," Infantino said.

"As part of this agreement, the EBU has committed to working towards broadcasting at least one hour of weekly content dedicated to women's football on its own digital platform and broadcaster network."

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