Murdoch and Fox bring World Cup to AFN

This is actually very cool, but at the same time it demonstrates some really poor behavior on the part of FIFA for not allowing AFN to broadcast world cup matches to soldiers. FIFA demanded that the Armed Forces Network pay them for broadcast rights before they would allow AFN to air the games to soldiers, sailors, and Marines. As is often the case, when it became public someone stepped up:

The first one to make a move was media magnate Robert Murdoch, who ordered his Fox Network to make arrangements, and pay whatever FIFA was demanding, to get the soccer games to the troops, as soon as possible. This was accomplished in 24 hours.

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5 thoughts on Murdoch and Fox bring World Cup to AFN

  1. Frankly, this is much ado about nothing. Luckily for Rupert Murduoch, he has a great opportunity to step in and look like the good guy and generate some goodwill for News Corp.

    However, why must the international soccer governing body have to provide coverage of world cup matches to American soldiers for free? It’s not their responsibility.

    Did you know that Soccer United Marketing, the U.S. Major League Soccer’s marketing arm, paid for the U.S. TV rights from FIFA and is essentially paying ESPN/ABC to broadcast the World Cup in the U.S? They should have thought of our armed forces as well.

    We’re mostly talking about our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the last I recalled, the latter isn’t a very popular engagement on the world scene. And it’s not like our government isn’t already pumping billions of dollars to support the effort.

  2. it’s not about responsibility, it’s about goodwill… after all, isn’t that what international sporting federations are supposed to be fostering.

    The fact that the U.S. government isn’t paying to for sporting broadcast rights is a good thing in my opinion.

    I was already a Fox fan, now I’m an enduring fan.

  3. Unfortunately, most international sporting bodies and the bureaucrats that control them have nothing to do with goodwill. With that said, if it was really about goodwill then the U.S. armed forces wouldn’t be at the top of worldwide list. I’m sure there are others more deserving from a global perspective (please don’t construe this as me being anti US military. I’m not).

    Fox definitely scored a huge PR coup on this one. Too bad SAP didn’t jump in since the World Cup is in Germany….

  4. Hate to disagree, Jeff, but FIFA is a business. Nothing more. If you knew all the crap going on around the world cup, and the limitations for local businesses in germany, you’d be amazed. FIFA has been sueing bakers for selling “World Cup Brezels”, for example…

  5. too bad we didn’t do it is right, the Department of Defense is a huge customer of SAP.

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