FIFA has awarded the commercialisation of the television rights for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups to the Sporis/Kirch group - but will revert to the group with a proposal from President João Havelange for the share of income above the guaranteed minimum.

The Executive, meeting in Zurich, voted after a prolonged discussion and the recommendation to the Committee by the FIFA Finance Committee for acceptance of the offer by Sporis/Kirch, which was superior to all other offers.

It consisted of a guarantee for 2002 of 1.3 billion Swiss Francs (1.04 billion US Dollars), plus a share of excess revenues. The exact terms of this re-negotiation remain confidential pending information to Sporis/Kirch.

The same group had also offered the highest bid for 2006, namely 1.5 billion Swiss Francs (1.200 billion US Dollars) guarantee plus a profit-sharing for similar rights, the terms of the profit-sharing also to be more precisely defined.

In both cases, the rights are worldwide except the United States, which will be commercialised separately.

The FIFA Executive Committee examined the proposal made by the FIFA Finance Committee, which had studied the seven offers originally submitted. Of these, three (those from ABC Television, the TEAM agency and CSI) had been eliminated before the Finance Committee heard presentations from the remaining four bidders on June 17.

These four bidders were CWL (Switzerland), IMG (USA), the International Television Consortium coordinated by the European Broadcasting Union, and Sporis/Kirch.

In 1987, FIFA had concluded a contract with the international consortium for the World Cups of 1990, 1994 and 1998, for an original total value of 340 million Swiss Francs, excluding the USA. The consortium contract has been increased for 1998 because of the increase to 32 finalist teams, so that the total worldwide rights including FIFA's agreement with ABC Television for the USA rights now totals 230 million Swiss Francs.

The contract for the marketing rights of the 2002 World Cup will not be negotiated by FIFA until organisational issues have been clarified regarding the first World Cup to be jointly hosted by two countries, namely Japan and South Korea.