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FOX wins 2026 World Cup TV rights

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FOX and Telemundo now have the rights to the next three World Cups.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

The 2026 World Cup will be broadcast in the United States by Fox Sports and Telemundo. FIFA announced that they have awarded the rights to the two companies, which already have the rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

That FIFA was awarding the 2026 World Cup rights is a bit of a surprise. They had not announced another round of bidding, as they did with previous World Cup TV rights. Normally, they set deadlines to submit bids and announce when decisions will be made so companies can put together their best bids, complete with presentations to the FIFA executive committee. None of that happened with these rights.

Fox Sports and Telemundo won the rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in that system. With it came the rights to all FIFA events through 2022, from Men's World Cups, to Women's World Cups, to youth World Cups. Now the two companies get all of that through 2026.

Exactly why FIFA decided to change how they awarded TV rights for 2026 is unclear. It could be for entirely legitimate reasons, but that's not going to be people's first assumption considering the organization's history. Instead, people will wonder if this is a way to make good with the companies for moving the 2022 World Cup to the winter, which the networks were not happy about. It could also be a play for Sepp Blatter to curry favor ahead of a vote to retain his FIFA presidency.

Whatever the reasoning, FIFA has awarded the rights to the 2026 World Cup, and they're staying with Fox and Telemundo.