FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA's new tournament is scheduled to be played in the U.S. from June 15 to July 13 of 2025; 32 teams around the globe will participate Via Front Office Sports/

SEATTLE - The tech company based in California wants to keep on entering the world of soccer, and according to The New York Times, Apple is close to reaching a deal with FIFA to stream the governing body's new competition, the FIFA Club World Cup, across the globe.

A revamped World Cup-style tournament will kick things off next year, replacing the old seven-team format with a 32-team tournament that includes Europe's top teams and other continental champions around the world.

According to reporting from Tariq Panja, the deal could be valued at $1 billion, a quarter of what FIFA had first estimated. If both parties reach an agreement, it would be the first time that FIFA agrees to a single worldwide contract.

Just last year, the tech company reached a 10-year deal with Major League Soccer that will see the North American league receive at least $250 million per season from Apple. In their previous contract with Fox, ESPN and Univision, MLS averaged $90 million per season during the eight-year deal.

Apple TV+'s MLS deal sets the tone for streaming companies vying for live sports rights (Via CNBC)

With teams such as Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG and Inter Milan, interest in the brand-new format of the FIFA Club World Cup is expected to generate billions of dollars in revenue to FIFA and its partners.

The way fans consume live sports has suffered a huge transformation over the last few years. Apple is just another company trying to knock in the door of this highly-successful business model. According to research from media company Parks Associates, pay-TV sports subscription revenue in the United States reached $13.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to keep on growing, with an approximate increase of 73% over the next five years, taking the total to a projected $22.6 billion.

With the tournament planned to start by June of next year, FIFA is running out of time to close sponsorship and broadcast deals. The governing body led by president Gianni Infantino hasn't materialized where the tournament will be played, as no venues have been announced just yet.

An idea that has been in the making for over five years now, Infantino's revamped Club World Cup was originally scheduled for 2021 with China as hosts, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to be rescheduled. The 32-team tournament will follow the same format as the World Cup, with teams getting divided into eight groups of four with the top two teams in each group advancing to the knockout stages.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.