FIFA Report -- Reaction to Corruption Reforms; World Cup TV Rights

(ATR) Anti-corruption organization Transparency International welcomes road map to reforms but insists FIFA still has "a lot of work to do” ... Fox outbids ESPN, NBC for U.S. broadcast rights to 2018, 2022 World Cups.

Reaction to FIFA Reforms

Anti-corruption organization Transparency International welcomes FIFA's road map to reforms but insists world football's governing body has "a lot of work to do" to restore its credibility.

"Transparency International was optimistic that FIFA would deliver on its promise to investigate the past and introduce reforms. This is a very important first step," said Sylvia Schenk, senior advisor for sport at Transparency International, which submitted an eight-page document to FIFA in August spelling out its ideas for comprehensive governance reforms.

"But it is just the beginning. They have addressed several key issues but there is still a lot of work to do to restore credibility and we will have to wait until December to see how far and how quickly they act. It will be a big challenge to implement the reforms and it will require a change of culture in the whole world of football."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter unveiled his reforms on Friday in a bid to crack down on corruption that has plagued the football body. He also reopened the ISL court dossier on corruption charges for FIFA officials. Blatter's "good governance committee" and three specialized task forces aim to revive the image of FIFA, which has taken a battering following a string of bribery scandals over the past year.

The proposals from the task forces will feed into the good governance committee, which will oversee the reform process. First reform proposals from the three task forces will be discussed at the next FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Tokyo on Dec. 16 and 17.

Fox Outbids ESPN, NBC

Fox will broadcast the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in the U.S. after outbidding rivals ESPN and NBC.

FIFA announced the news Friday following a two-day meeting of its decision-making Executive Committee.

Leaders from each of the three networks had traveled to Zurich earlier in the week to hand over their offers to world football’s governing body.

In what’s widelybeing considered a surprise, Fox’s was apparently the best.

Sports Business Journal reports that Fox paid between $450 million and $500 million for the English rights with Telemundo forking over another $600 million for Spanish.

The current contract sees ESPN and Univision pay a combined $425 million for the 2010 and 2014 finals, meaning the worth of the World Cup has more than doubled in the U.S. market.

This increase of almost 150 percent in the total rights value is also somewhat of a surprise considering the time difference between the U.S. and 2018 host Russia as well as 2022 host Qatar.

Qatar is seven hours ahead of the U.S. and most of western Russia is eight ahead, factors that apparently didn’t temper the bidding a bit.

Written by Mark Bisson and Matthew Grayson

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