Apple TV+ Could Be Home to a 2025 FIFA World Cup Tourney

FIFA soccer football Credit: Fauzan Saari
Text Size
- +

Toggle Dark Mode

Apple may be on the cusp of parlaying its landmark Major League Soccer deal into an exclusive new deal with soccer’s global governing body to stream a new World Cup-style competition next year.

According to the New York Times, Apple and FIFA are close to an agreement that would see the tech giant granted worldwide television rights to the FIFA Club World Cup 2025, a major new tournament planned for next summer.

The expanded competition is the brainchild of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who has been pushing for it since at least 2021 when plans to host it in China were quashed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, the FIFA Council announced the FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be held in the United States — for the first time — from June 15 to July 13, featuring 32 teams from every continent around the globe.

The Times cites three sources familiar with the matter as sharing that the agreement could be announced before the end of the month, although they also say the value of the deal could be less than initially anticipated. FIFA had originally estimated $4 billion for the broadcast rights, but now Apple might be getting access for about a quarter of that.

However, it’s also unclear if Apple is bidding on the free-to-air rights. If so, the event would likely be available only on Apple’s platform. Senior executives at FIFA have reportedly expressed concerns about the requirement for an Apple TV+ subscription. Still, it’s also possible Apple could make at least some portions of the event available to non-subscribers or bundle it into some other type of subscription package.

Apple TV+ has already become a premium destination for soccer fans thanks to its MLS Season Pass and Lionel Messi’s arrival in Miami last year. However, it’s also fair to say that North American Major League Soccer is small potatoes compared to the worldwide FIFA tournaments, and next summer’s World Cup will play host to some of the most celebrated professional teams in the world, including Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern München, and Paris Saint-Germain.

In addition to the high-profile teams, such a deal would be a significant coup for Apple, as it would mark the first time that FIFA has agreed to a single worldwide contract. The Football Federation had initially hoped that the tournament would attract higher demand from broadcasters and other commercial partners but was met with lukewarm reception due to poor planning, delays, and a requirement for sponsors to commit $150 million for “sponsorship packages.”

According to the Times, FIFA hopes that a global deal with Apple will give the new tournament “the veneer of high quality that Infantino has been trying to secure” as it prepares for the regular 2026 World Cup, which will also be hosted in the US for the first time.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

Social Sharing