McCormack bids $1bn for the 2002 Cup

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The Independent Online
Sport on TV

International Management Group, the international sports management group, has bid pounds 650m for the broadcasting and marketing rights to football's 2002 World Cup, the IMG president Mark McCormack has told the Independent.

In an exclusive interview which will appear in Monday's sports section, McCormack says IMG has "offered Fifa a billion dollars for all the commerical TV rights" to the 2002 tournament. Fifa, the governing body of world football, confirmed yesterday that an offer had been received from IMG, in addition to a "handful" of other unsolicited offers.

Despite rumours, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is not among the potential bidders. According to a News Corp insider, the bidding auction is "a stitch- up" and the company has no intention of bidding.

The broadcasting rights are currently held by an international consortium of public service broadcasters, with the European rights taken by the European Broadcasting Union. The marketing and TV rights to the 1998 Cup were set at pounds 120m, as the third of a three-Cup deal reached in 1986.