Perform Group’s Goal.com snaps up UK media rights to the FIFA World Club Cup

Football publisher Goal has snapped up the UK media rights to the FIFA World Club Cup.

The now-traditional yearly tournament takes place every December, and features the winners of each of the Champions League-style tournaments from each of football’s continental federations as well as the winner of the host country’s league competition.

This year’s edition will take place in the United Arab Emirates, and will include European champions, Real Madrid; Asian champions, Urawa Red Diamonds; African champions, Wydad Casablanca; Oceania champions, Auckland City; North American champions Pachuca; the winners of South America’s Copa Libertadores, who will be crowned tonight when the second leg of the final takes place between Brazil’s Gremio and Argentina’s Lanus; and the winners of the UAE Pro League, Al-Jazira.

And in the build-up to the competition, which runs from 6 to 16 December, this year, Perform – Goal.com’s parent company – have won the UK media rights to the tournament for 2017 and 2018.

It remains to be seen exactly what the publisher will do with the rights and how they will broadcast the tournament, but as recently as this summer, Goal had great success with its Facebook Live stream of Neymar Jr’s first Paris Saint-Germain press conference. Their broadcast on the platform accumulated over 2m views in the end, and garnered massive engagement as the biggest move of the summer finally came to fruition.

Whilst the UK interest in the world’s most expensive footballer might far outweigh the excitement around Al-Jazira v Auckland City, it does at least show what can be achieved on streamed broadcasts. As huge players like Facebook, Twitter and Amazon attempt to gain more and more media rights to broadcast live sport, and as other publishers look to get involved, this move represents another disruption: although the likes of SPORTbible have streamed live football events before, the FIFA World Club Cup does seem like a significant tournament for Goal to get its hands on, even if UK interest certainly isn’t as high as it would have been if a Premier League side was appearing, despite the star quality of Real Madrid.

Sam Brown, head of English language at Goal, told The Drum, “Securing the rights to the Fifa World Club Cup is tremendous for Goal, but also for the millions of fans who rely on us for their football news and coverage. At no cost, fans in the UK will be able to watch, through Goal, the likes of Ronaldo, Modric and the rest of the stellar cast of Real Madrid compete in the UAE as they look to both defend their 2016 championship win and equal Barcelona’s three FIFA World Club Cup championships.”

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Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 688 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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