FIFA: Expected Viewership of 2006 World Cup Will be 30 Billion People

ZURICH Switzerland - From ESPNSoccerNet.com - On Monday FIFA opened the invitation to tender for European media rights to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The public tender which comprises the rights for television and radio transmissions is open to all parties including broadcasters broadcasting unions sports rights agencies and media companies.

FIFA world football's governing body have recognised the increasing number of competing broadcasting companies by allowing up to three rights holders in each country.

In 2002 a worldwide cumulative audience of 28.8 billion people watched the World Cup in Korea and Japan and this number is expected to hit 30 billion for the 2006 event in Germany.

Bids must be submitted by February 11 next year from which FIFA will draw up a confidential shortlist. The rights holders are expected to be announced in May or June.

The Asian and Oceania tenders for the 2010 World Cup have been postponed until a later date.