Seattle Sounders Club World Cup May 4, 2022; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei (24) celebrates following a 3-0 victory against Pumas in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League Final at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The rights to FIFA’s expanded Club World Cup tournament are reportedly heading to Apple on a global deal.

Per the New York Times, the tournament, which will be held in the United States in the summer of 2025, is only bringing in “as little as a quarter of the $4 billion FIFA had first estimated,” with the exact amount unknown.

Broadcast plans, including if games will only be available on Apple TV+, are also unknown.

The 32-team tournament will take place between June 15 and July 13 and includes top clubs from around the world. With limited exceptions, a maximum of two clubs per country are eligible for the tournament, which removes popular teams like Arsenal, Barcelona, Liverpool, and Manchester United from contention.

FIFA typically sells the rights to all of its tournaments in a massive package, currently owned by Fox Sports in the United States. It also sells the rights separately in each country, truly putting this tournament in a different category.

The tournament is also having problems acquiring sponsors, with none willing to pony up the exorbitant fees (an estimated $150 million) FIFA is seeking.

Half of the tournament will go head-to-head with the UEFA Women’s Euro tournament in the summer of 2025, scheduled to take place from July 2-27 in Switzerland. The tournament is also set to take place at the same time as the Concacaf Gold Cup, which will be held in the western half of the United States. The Club World Cup will take place in the country’s eastern half.

For Apple, if the streamer does acquire the rights to the Club World Cup, it will mark the company’s second major global soccer deal behind its decade-long pact with Major League Soccer.

[New York Times]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.