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If you’re into the idea of having more soccer on TV, consider Saudi Arabia’s proposal for a biennial world tournament a gift from above.
On a statement released Tuesday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino and 211 of the federation’s membership will be looking into hosting the global sporting event every two years.
Since 1930, the FIFA World Cup has crowned a victor for both men and women’s soccer every four years. The proposal would overtake the 92-year-old tradition (considering the 2022 World Cup) of a quadrennial champ.
Appeal for the inclusion of an additional tournament comes from the impressive revenue haul that is circulated in broadcasting deals and coverage within the World Cup every four years.
In 2018, France, which won the World Cup, received an estimated $38 million — representing nearly a tenth of FIFA’s $400 million in prize money.
Adding more games could either tire fans accustomed to the exclusivity of the four-year process or energize new audiences — especially those in America, as popular leagues like the NBA continue to see a dramatic loss in viewership.
With Saudi Arabia’s proposal at the helm in Friday’s discussions, FIFA’s foreseeable future should be bright, especially with the potential expansion of games.
Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup and an additional 24-team tournament — FIFA Club World Cup — will be hosted by China. The event was initially scheduled for July 4, 2021 but was postponed due to COVID concerns.
In 2018, the FIFA World Cup attracted 516.6 million viewers across the globe. That same year, the Patriots vs. Eagles matchup in Super Bowl LII totaled 103.4 million viewers.