FIFA Goes Direct-to-Consumer with New Streaming Service FIFA+

Dan Meier 13 April, 2022 

FIFA has booted up a free streaming service ahead of the 2022 World Cup. FIFA+ will feature live matches and archive footage from the major leagues, as well as original content and documentaries.

Every World Cup and Women’s World Cup will additionally be available to stream, with the notable exception of the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, which will be shown on linear TV.

FIFA+ will launch across all web and mobile devices and has a target of reaching 200 million users by the end of 2022. The governing body is exploring other distribution options via CTV and broadcast partners. 

The platform will initially offer 1,400 matches per month, expanding to the equivalent of 40,000 live games per year by the end of 2022, including 11,000 women’s matches. The service will become the “market leading women’s football digital platform,” as Charlotte Burr, FIFA+ Project Lead, told the Hollywood Reporter.

The service will be supported by video, pre-roll and banner advertising, alongside branded content opportunities. A paid tier could be added in future, Burr noted, “but there will always be a free experience on FIFA+.”

FIFA is also open to content collaboration, investigating co-production models to flesh out its programming.  “We’re willing to work with anybody who wants to tell compelling human interest stories around football,” commented James Marley, FIFA+ Head of Content.

At first the platform will support five languages (English, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese) with plans to add Mandarin, Bahasa, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Arabic and Hindi in the coming months. Geo-blocking of live matches will avoid conflicts with existing rights holders in specific territories, FIFA added.

The organisation’s aim is to “democratise” football and make the sport “truly global and inclusive,” according to FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “This project represents a cultural shift in the way different types of football fans want to connect with and explore the global game,” he said.

Crossing into OTT

As traditional TV sports viewing declines, increasing numbers of leagues and bodies are making tracks into the streaming game, expanding their revenue opportunities and opening up targeted advertising possibilities. A Verizon study showed that 63 percent of sport fans would consider paying for a live sports streaming service, and 2017 figures from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board revealed a 14 percent decrease in Premier League viewership on Sky.

At present however, the appeal of a direct-to-consumer FIFA offering could be limited. FIFA+ follows on the heels of other free OTT football platforms, including and The FA Player. Ampere Analysis found that only 6 percent of sport fans across 12 markets have watched in the past month, while 6 percent of fans in the UK have engaged with the FA Player. “A lot of the draw for live sport is premium content, which FIFA won’t have at present,” said Minal Modha, Consumer Research Lead at Ampere, “so the ceiling for engagement may be limited to ‘super fans’ rather than reaching the more casual ones.”

Meanwhile the Ampere report suggested that just 14% of sport fans would be willing to pay for the FIFA World Cup. “It’s likely the actual conversion would be lower, so I think it’s unlikely we’ll see the jewel in FIFA’s crown go behind a paywall any time soon,” Modha told VideoWeek.

Follow VideoWeek on Twitter and LinkedIn.


About the Author:

Reporter at VideoWeek.
Go to Top