The World Cup 2022 is knocking on our door. The first game will take place on November 20th with the host country against Ecuador at 11am (EST) and people around the world will be tuned in for the biggest tournament of the year. According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the World Cup is expected to be watched by 3 million people in the stadiums, and 5 billion people on TV. The World Cup is an exciting moment for those who wait to see their countries play. The World Cup has been played every 4 years since the first tournament in Uruguay in 1930. After Japan and South Korea in 2002, Qatar is the second Asian nation to host the event.
Since Qatar has been announced as the World Cup’s host, much has been discussed on human rights and migrant workers. The focus at this moment is not only on the excitement of the beginning of the event, but also on how impactful these issues can become, and how much the media is going to be allowed to expose. What we know so far is that the Qatar’s government is imposing some restrictions on international broadcasting. “Broadcasters, such as the BBC and ITV, will effectively be barred from filming at accommodation sites, such as those housing migrant workers, under the terms of filming permits issued by the Qatari government.” Restrictions are not only limited to housing. “According to the terms, recording at government buildings, universities, places of worship and hospitals is also prohibited, along with filming at residential properties and private businesses.” Sadly, this has already started to impact broadcasting as the executive producer from Fox, David Neal, has revealed that the network is not going to focus on the controversies of Qatar, but on the tournament itself. “We really believe viewers come to us at Fox Sports for the World Cup to see the World Cup.”
James Lynch, a founding director of FairSquare Research and Projects has expressed how difficult these restrictions will be for journalists to pursue a story. “This is likely to have a severe chilling effect on free expression. How many organisations will authorise reporting on Qatar’s social issues if to do so puts them at risk of ending up in court?”
Questions regarding the impact of broadcasting restrictions will have on the audience’s perspective include: Is the excitement for the games going to overshadow those issues? Is the government trying to hide something by restricting media coverage? Answers may be apparent in the coming weeks.
The World Cup will be broadcast live in English by Fox, F1S, F2S, and in Spanish by Telemundo and Universo. The tournament will also be available on streaming platforms: fuboTV, Fox Sports app, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, Universo Now, Peacock Premium. For those watching the World Cup from the U.S., you may access it in English by Fox Sports and in Spanish by Telemundo.
For further information on FIFA World Cup Qatar TV Schedule visit Fox Sports.