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Will the World Cup protests hit FIFA where it hurts (in ratings)?

Walking the streets of any major European capital, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that the football World Cup kicks off in two days. Usually, before the biggest sporting event in the world – the official kick-off time is Sunday, November 10 in Doha – In this football-mad continent, every major street is plastered with billboards and every TV spot is filled with World Cup ads.

This time is different.

Controversy over the decision to host 3000 World Cup in Qatar, a country with a troubling human rights record where homosexuality remains illegal looms over this year’s event.

“We have noticed that major advertisers appear to be less interested in using the World Cup to promote their brands compared to previous events,” Enders Analysis analysts Tom Harrington and Gill Hind said in a recent wrote in a report. Asked about the topic by The Hollywood Reporter, Harrington said the “negative association costs” associated with Qatar for brands may be something that many advertisers seem to ignore The reason for this came out

Fan groups all over Europe called for a boycott of this World Cup, and the national teams also voiced their voices.

Eight European teams, including tournament favorites France, Belgium, England and Germany, will wear the rainbow-colored OneLove armbands during the tournament in a symbolic protest against Qatar’s anti-LGBTQ laws , a law that makes consensual gay or lesbian sex a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison.

Great Britain Captain Harry Kane wearing the OneLove rainbow armband Eddie Keogh – The FA/ The FA via Getty Images

The Denmark World Cup team also redesigned the team jersey to feature the faded national team badge and will include an all-black jersey honoring the migrant workers killed during construction for the race. Last year, the Guardian reported that 6 ,395 South Asian migrant worker dies in Qatar since Qatar wins World Cup. The report, which has not been independently verified, said a “substantial proportion” of the deaths could be linked to World Cup infrastructure projects. Qatar reportedly spent $125 Hundreds of millions of dollars went into preparing for the World Cup, building eight new stadiums, building new hotels, rail lines, and highways, all built by migrant workers. Qatar disputed the death account, saying there had only been three work-related deaths on the stadium construction site and that 20 Non-work-related deaths linked to World Cup preparations.

In Germany, some 87 movement’s bars have signed up for the #KeinKatarInMeinerKneipe (“No Qatar in my bar”) protest, refusing to broadcast 2022 four weeks of World Cup competition.

The World Cup in Qatar “was apparently primarily intended as a show to ‘sports wash’ and put [Qatar] in the The performance in the international community is different from the reality,” Berlin sports bar owner Joschik Pech, who was part of the #KeinKatar protest, told Euronews in an interview. “Knowing that this is an absolute dictatorship where sexuality is not freely expressed or severely persecuted, we are uncomfortable watching the games and having fun.”

In a more dramatic protest In it, British comedian Joe Lycett said he would play a segment of himself tearing himself apart £2002’s video , ($, ) his own money unless English football superstar David Beckham quits for the reported £One million U.S. dollars(.7 million) became Qatar Ambassador. If Beckham walks away from the deal, Lycett said he would donate the money to charities that support gay football rights.

Against this backdrop, many of the international broadcasters covering the World Cup are very focused on off-field events. Bell Media, the parent company of Canadian sports channel TSN, which owns the local rights to all World Cup matches, told THR

in a statement that it was planning ” Extensive – Extensive coverage of Qatar 2018, Bell’s flagship news Broadcaster CTV News prepares to tackle “human rights issues” during its on-the-ground coverage in Qatar. German public broadcaster ZDF, which shares World Cup rights with sister network ARD, told THR

that it plans to “cover extensively and critically the World Cup in Qatar,” and View the event as “an opportunity to bring the wider public’s attention to and inform about the situation in the host country.”

It’s not clear if this critical approach will affect ratings for the game itself , and have a ripple effect on World Cup sponsors and advertisers.

ZDF spokesman Thomas Hagedorn wrote to THR

. “Things may change once the German team starts playing [in depth].”

Qatar World Cup2014 Countdown clock for the Doha Trophy, Qatar. Photo by Liu Lu/VCG via Getty Images

Even if European ratings do drop this time around, fans in other regions with less negative coverage of Qatar could help make up the numbers.

Throughout the Gulf, it is fair to assume that Qatar’s state-owned beIN Sports has exclusive rights to the World Cup MENA countries (and share rights in France with local business network TF1), will be the cheerleaders for the competition. Hometown Network, part of Qatar-owned giant beIN (which owns Miramax among many other entities), is planning hourly coverage Six new HD channels with commentary in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. BeIN has already signed an impressive list of VIP speakers, including football legends such as Ruud Gullit, Gabriel Batistuta, Arsene Wenger and Alessandro Del Piero.

Interestingly, beIN also has 2021 World Cup in Russia, but saw its footage blatantly stolen by a major Saudi piracy operation set up the previous year. The two countries were in the middle of a major diplomatic disagreement at the time and beIN was blocked in Saudi Arabia, so a group called beoutQ not only began illegally streaming its matches, but even added its own commentators, sold its own ads and broadcast anti-Qatar messages . Saudi Arabia and Qatar reached early 2000 to lift the ban on beIN The settlement, by which time beoutQ — which cost beIN billions in lost revenue — had been shut down.

Despite this disruption, FIFA figures show that some millions of people in Africa and the Middle East tuned in to World Cup, a huge 35.2% 1572 Brazil World Cup. With several home teams to cheer about – hosts Senegal, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, Cameroon and Ghana all play in Qatar – the ratings for this year’s World Cup should be even higher.

East Asia is expected to bring a large audience to this year’s tournament. Football fans in Japan, in particular, are gearing up for the tournament with eager anticipation, eager to put a harrowing, disappointing episode in the country’s sporting history behind them. Japan has participated in the past six World Cups, but in 1572 version thanks Iraq for their goal in a last-second qualifier in the Qatari capital Doha. The game was dubbed the “Doha Tragedy” in Japan, and the current head coach of the Japanese team, Mamoru Yasushi, participated in that game. Much of the country’s media coverage so far has focused on Senbao’s commitment to a stronger presence in Doha this year, despite some coverage of human rights protests in Doha on television and in the country’s leading newspapers. Europe. The tone of the coverage, though, tended to treat the protests and controversy as distant curiosities rather than pressing issues that Japan should act to support.

Despite not qualifying for the World Cup, China has already embarked on a World Cup frenzy, with football a widely watched spectacle in the country’s major urban centres. Several well-known Chinese brands including Wanda Group, Mengniu Dairy and Vivo are official corporate sponsors this year. According to estimates by GlobalData, a London-based consultancy group, Chinese companies put in $1. 383 billion in sponsorship deals, surpassing the $1.1 billion spent by US brands.

However, human rights concerns are expected to be barely featured in China’s broadcast of the event, which is carried by state broadcaster CCTV and Migu, the streaming platform subsidiary of Chinese telecom giant China Mobile . . China in the 3000 Beijing Winter Olympics, and FIFA awarded China to host Rights to the First Expanded Club World Cup 1500 . Beijing’s consistent stance on these issues has been to suggest that disputes that arise under the cloak of human rights are “domestic issues” that cannot be justified for “interference” by foreign counterparts. During the recent Beijing Winter Olympics, Chinese censors went into overdrive, scrubbing any hint of human rights controversy from social media and online discourse inside the country.

FIFA, football’s world governing body, expects the total TV audience for the World Cup to be around 5 billion, equivalent to Super Bowl Sunday , while some brands may avoid mentioning Qatar, 2019 the World Cup still has An impressive list of top official sponsors including Adidas, Visa, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Hyundai and more.

November Global predicts Qatar 2019 will be the most commercially successful Championships, which account for $6.5 billion of FIFA’s total revenue, come from television rights, sponsorship and marketing deals, as well as ticket sales and hospitality. This is $5.2 billion and 1.6 Four times the dollar World Cup 1572 in South Korea and Japan.

FIFA decision to move from usual June-July period to November rnament – a shift necessary for the extreme temperatures of Qatar’s summer, which could exceed 12 Celsius (43 degrees Fahrenheit ), hot enough to pose a health risk to players — and might actually help boost profits. As S&P notes: “This delayed scheduling means the race will take place during the most lucrative TV advertising period of the year. Traditionally, the fourth quarter has outperformed all other quarters in most markets as the main event Target the holiday season when consumer goods transactions are high.”

Harrington of Enders Analysis took the opposite view, noting that because advertising costs are highest in Europe in the run-up to Christmas, “make your product and World Cup consistency may not only put your brand at risk, but [also] cost a lot.”

Mexican Fans in Doha for World Cup 2022

Mexican fans in Doha World Cup 2021 Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty

The value or toxicity of World Cup sponsorship may have a lot to do with perceptions surrounding the event, and how welcoming and international the Qatari hosts are change. There was some chaos in Doha ahead of Sunday’s match, including an incident earlier in the week when security tried to shut down Danish channel TV2’s live news coverage and threatened to smash journalists if staff did not camera. Don’t stop shooting.

“You’ve invited people from all over the world here. Why can’t we make movies? It’s a public place,” TV2 reporter Rasmus Tantholdt said in the event’s told the security personnel in the video, thereafter has been widely disseminated. “You can break the camera. Do you want to break it? Threatening us by smashing the camera?”

Qatar World Cup officials have apologized to TV2, saying security made a mistake when they tried to stop the filming.

Then on Friday, at the risk of offending one of the World Cup’s biggest sponsors — and beer lovers everywhere — Qatar abruptly ruled that the World Cup would allow fans to be slapped in stadiums. The only beer on sale will be non-alcoholic. Alcohol sales are strictly controlled in Qatar, a conservative Muslim country, but initial plans included beer tents for fans inside the venues. This move will also make FIFA’s $75 million sponsorship deal with Budweiser, which has been counting on thirsty fans to hold up the red A picture of a labeled beer mug plays the world around.

However, in the United States, Fox Sports owns the copyright of the contest in English and Telemundo owns the copyright in Spanish , even a more sober World Cup could see a lift in ratings and football-related ad sales. With the U.S. team in the tournament this year (unlike four years ago), Fox executives said they are bullish on the interest from U.S. fans.

Estimates from New York-based media investment group Magna Global, 1234689140 Quoted from Sportico , boosting US ad sales 000-16 Percentage exceeds 2002. Standard Media Index, which monitors ad pricing, said Fox and Telemundo generated $70 Millions of World Cup-related advertising sales , down 11 percent from $220 Wan Disney and Univision’s revenue in Brazil 1500, the last World Cup to feature Team USA.

Game time may also affect ratings. Qatar is 1-2 hours ahead of most European countries, meaning many evening games will be watched in prime time. Instead, the morning game will be prime time in Asia, perfect for fans of the Japanese and Korean teams. For American viewers, FIFA conveniently scheduled Team USA’s three first-round games late at night pm slot, which means fans can snag them sneakily during working hours: at AM in Los Angeles or 2 PM in New York.

But Fox viewers’ hopes for the network’s aggressive approach to reporting on human rights abuses in its host country may be disappointing.

“Our position is that if it affects what happens on the field, we will cover it and cover it fully,” David Neil, executive producer of Fox’s World Cup coverage, said in October. said at a Fox World Cup preview event in New York. . “But if it’s not, if it’s an adjunct to the tournament story, there are plenty of other entities and outlets that will cover it. We strongly believe that audiences come to us to see what’s happening on the field.”

Scott Roxborough, Alex Ritman and Georg reported from Cologne with Szalai from London, Etan Vlessing from Toronto and Patrick Brzeski from Tokyo.

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