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SBS to continue as exclusive Australian broadcaster for 2026 FIFA World Cup


Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), the Australian free-to-air broadcaster, has confirmed its exclusive broadcasting partnership for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to take place across the United States, Canada and Mexico. This agreement solidifies SBS as the official Australian broadcaster for the world’s most prestigious international men’s football tournament.

SBS will provide live coverage of all 104 matches of the 2026 World Cup, airing them on its SBS and SBS Viceland channels, as well as making games available for streaming on its SBS On Demand platform. The 2026 edition marks the 40th year of SBS’s involvement in broadcasting FIFA competitions, dating back to 1986.

“SBS has been the home of football on Australian television for almost 40 years and we could not be more thrilled to announce that we will broadcast the 2026 tournament from North America, which will have more teams, more matches and draw more eyeballs than ever before,” James Taylor, the Managing Director of SBS, enthused.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup has been expanded to include 48 teams, resulting in an additional 16 teams in the group stages. This expansion makes it a record-breaking event with an unprecedented 104 matches.

The process for securing the media rights for the 2026 World Cup in Australia began in August 2023 when FIFA issued an invitation to tender.

One challenge for Australian viewers is the significant time zone difference between Australia and the host countries. The time difference between the two regions can be as much as 15 hours.

FIFA also issued a separate invitation to tender for the media rights of the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which has yet to determine its host. Australia co-hosted the 2023 Women’s World Cup with New Zealand – and the subsequent tournament must be held by a nation within a different footballing federation. This potential scenario could result in another significant time zone difference between the host country and Australia.

Currently, four host bids are active for the 2027 Women’s World Cup, including South Africa, Brazil, Belgium/Germany/Netherlands and Mexico/US, representing four different footballing federations.

Image Credit: Agência Brasil

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