* State broadcaster deal dates back to 1978
* National team failed to qualify for next year’s tournament (Adds details)
ZURICH, Nov 1 (Reuters) - FIFA has extended its rights deal with China’s state broadcaster which has run since the 1978 World Cup.
The global soccer body said on Wednesday that it has agreed to grant China Central Television (CCTV) the exclusive media rights in China for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which will be held in Russia and Qatar respectively.
The deal with the state broadcaster includes all its other major international competitions until 2022, including the women’s World Cup in 2019.
It covered all media rights across all platforms including live, delayed and highlights rights, FIFA said in a statement that gave no financial terms.
FIFA said that CCTV, which has broadcast the World Cup in China since the 1978 edition in Argentina, reaches 99 percent of the population throughout the country and that “the partnership will help FIFA to reach the widest possible audience in China”.
“China has an important role to play in FIFA’s global development strategy,” FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said.
“Our close partnership with CCTV, reinforced by this new two-cycle deal, will make the FIFA World Cup even more accessible to the Chinese audience, increase further the popularity of the game in the country, and support the development of Chinese football.”
China’s team failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament. (Reporting by Michael Shields and Brian Homewood; Editing by John O’Brien)