Goal gears up for Russia 18 after netting UK digital rights to Fifa Club World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo receives Goal Award - he will feature for Real Madrid

Football media brand Goal has won the UK digital rights to the Fifa Club World Cup.

The winter tournament, not to be confused with the Fifa World Cup, will see Spanish giants Real Madrid face off against Auckland City, Al-Jazira, Copa Libertadores and the yet to be named winners of the OFC Champions League between December 6 and 16 in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Goal’s parent company Perform Media snapped up the rights to the tournament and plans to broadcast it for free on the title’s channels in 2017 and 2018.

The media brand claims to reach some 79 million football fans every month and boasts more than 77 million fans across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Line, and YouTube.

Sam Brown, head of English language at Goal, said: “Securing the rights to the Fifa Club World Cup is tremendous for Goal, but also for the millions of fans who rely on us for their football news and coverage. At no cost, fans in the UK will be able to watch, through Goal, the likes of Ronaldo, Modric and the rest of the stellar cast of Real Madrid compete in the UAE as they look to both defend their 2016 championship win and equal Barcelona’s three Fifa Club World Cup championships.”

The tournament also gives the Goal time the chance to develop its broadcast style ahead of the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

It is yet to announce how and where the games will be displayed but has confirmed that raising the profile of the tournament, including matches not involving Real Madrid and its cast of superstars, will be a priority.

It comes as upstarts and media outlets like Goal offer challenge to the traditional sports broadcasters like Sky, cherry-picking smaller tournaments like the Club World Cup to build awareness and experience in the space.

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