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Fifa set for lucrative TV bonuses if ‘United 2026’ wins World Cup race

World football’s governing body Fifa is reportedly in line for bonuses of $302m (€243.3m) from its North American broadcast partners should it decide to award hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup to the ‘United 2026’ joint proposal from the United States, Canada and Mexico.

UK newspaper the Mail on Sunday said that if the United 2026 bid lands the World Cup then a variety of payments contingent on that outcome, known as ‘production contributions’, will be payable to Fifa by broadcasters on top of the already agreed separate set fees.

The Fox Sports division of US network Fox will reportedly be due to pay Fifa an extra $182m, while US media company NBCUniversal would have to pay $115m for its Spanish-language arm Telemundo, and Canadian broadcasters would pay an extra $5m.

In February 2015, Fifa renewed rights deals with Fox and Telemundo in the US and with telco Bell Media in Canada. The deals cover the four-year cycle from 2023 to 2026, and include the 2026 World Cup.

Fox acquired English-language rights in the US, with Telemundo picking up Spanish-language rights in the country. All of the broadcasters had existing rights deals through to and including the 2022 World Cup and Fifa courted controversy by awarding the extended contracts without an open bidding process.

Fifa said in a statement: “Specific contractual details pertaining to business relationships maintained by Fifa with its media rights licensees are subject to confidentiality clauses, which is in line with commonly applied business practices.”

All 212 Fifa member associations will meet at the Fifa Congress in Moscow, Russia, on June 13 to vote on the host for the 2026 World Cup. The United 2026 effort is considered the overwhelming favourite against Morocco, the only other bidder for the tournament.