FIFA resolves dispute with TUI Cruises

The legal disputes between the world football governing body FIFA and TUI Cruises have been resolved after intense negotiations. It had been a pending case at the Copyright Dispute Chamber of Hamburg District Court since July 1, 2020. The financial value of the settlement is yet to be revealed by both parties.

FIFA filed a lawsuit against TUI Cruises which is a cruise line based in Germany. FIFA recovered live broadcast transmissions by German broadcasters ARD and ZDF of the 2018 FIFA World Cup games and also from the FIFA Women’s World Cup matches on the cruises. It was reported that the cruise line didn’t obtain a license from FIFA’s authorised sales agency (IMG) that gave them a permit to broadcast the matches of the tournament. While 12 cruise lines were able to show the World Cup games in 2018 via IMG- produced Sport 24 channel and TUI was not among them.

After intense negotiations and discussions since the start of the dispute, both parties have come to a mutual agreement and have submitted their settlement agreement to the court. Under this settlement agreement, the cruise line company has recognized FIFA’s copyright, which is produced by FIFA and its licensed broadcasters. As part of this agreement, the company will refrain from using the feed even if it’s received from ARD and ZDF and will obtain a license in the future. This means that TUI will not be able to show FIFA tournament action anywhere on board in all the zones of the ship without a proper license.

However, the financial terms have not been disclosed yet and FIFA has the sole video rights to cover the matches and then the governing bodies distribute it to broadcasters. However,  The Hamburg hight court revealed in an oral proceeding in April this year that TUI should have respected FIFA’s copyright over its match coverage.

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