Front Office Sports: FIFA expects $11 billion over next four-year cycle


The World Cup’s expansion to 48 teams in 2026 is setting up FIFA for a major payday.

Soccer’s global organizing body expects to earn $11 billion for the 2023-26 commercial cycle — with an almost 50% raise in income — thanks primarily to sponsorships and media deals for the men’s World Cup.

FIFA reported $7.5 billion in revenue last month for the 2019-22 cycle — $1 billion more than it budgeted.

The 2022 tournament features 64 matches, but it’s unclear how many games will be played in the 2026 edition.

FIFA’s council agreed to an 80-game format in 2017.

This year, FIFA officials have suggested a 104-game tournament to avoid two teams colluding to fix the result in a final group-stage game. 

The number of games played will ultimately affect sales to broadcasters, but FIFA has already locked in some of its deals. 

Fox had rights to the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, then extended its deal with FIFA for the 2026 tournament. FIFA also has a media deal with Qatar’s beIN Sports in the MENA region.

Sharing the Wealth

FIFA won’t be the only one bringing in billions from the 2026 World Cup.

A 2018 study by The Boston Consulting Group claimed that the 2026 World Cup would bring an economic impact of $5 billion to North America. After investments for playing facilities and tourism, the figure would end up between $3 billion and $4 billion.

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