FIFA takes on streaming companies with own soccer platform

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. evolve / ɪˈvɒlv / (v.) – to slowly change or develop, usually to a better or more advanced state

    The company evolved from a startup into a big corporation.

  2. geo-blocking / ˈʤi oʊ ˈblɑk ɪŋ / (n.) – a practice in which access to content is limited by location

    Some Netflix shows are available in the US but not in Japan because of geo-blocking.

  3. federation / ˌfɛd əˈreɪ ʃən / (n.) – an organization composed of smaller groups

    Several sports organizations form the federation.

  4. bundle / ˈbʌn dl / (v.) – to include something, such as a product or service, with another thing

    Our travel agent usually bundles hotel bookings, tours, and airfare into one deal.

  5. coverage / ˈkʌv ər ɪdʒ / (n.) – a reporting or recording of a particular event or topic in media like TV, newspapers, or radio

    The news program received an award because of its detailed coverage of the typhoon.


Read the text below.

FIFA is getting into the streaming platform business with a soccer version of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The service is free and largely featuring documentaries and some live games at the launch, but it could eventually be a way for FIFA to broadcast World Cup matches itself at a cost.

While increasingly positioning itself as a rival to existing media companies, FIFA+ will also be used by the governing body to promote its sponsors.

“There is no plan to charge a subscription fee for the service, that doesn’t mean to say that we may not evolve over time should there be a value proposition that allows us to charge subscription if we step into premium rights or adopt other kinds of models,” FIFA director of strategy Charlotte Burr said. “But there will always be a free experience on FIFA+.”

Geo-blocking can be used to limit matches broadcast on FIFA+ to specific territories. FIFA was less clear if the platform will be an accessible means of watching World Cup qualifiers that are often not available to view widely as each federation is able to sell the rights and some confederations bundle them together.

FIFA said the live matches would be from competitions previously lacking coverage, initially with 1,400 games streamed each month.

The launch could see FIFA shift content off YouTube that it has previously used to broadcast classic matches and sports politics events. The recent FIFA Congress in Qatar was not streamed on the long-standing video sharing website unlike previously.

FIFA chief commercial officer Kay Madati said “we’re a bit more strategic about what goes where and when.”

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • FIFA+ aims to position itself as a rival to existing media companies (ex. Netflix, Amazon Prime). Do you think it will be able to achieve this goal? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • FIFA+ won’t have a subscription fee, but the company might charge subscribers in the future. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What kinds of content should not be available on streaming platforms (ex. violent films, shows with rude language)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think streaming services will replace traditional media (ex. TV, radio)? Why or why not? Discuss.