ZURICH -- Fox outbid incumbent ESPN and NBC to win the English-language U.S. television rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, a FIFA official with knowledge of the decision said Friday.
Telemundo was awarded the Spanish-language rights for soccer's showpiece tournament, the official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the decision hadn't been announced yet.
ESPN, which holds the English-language rights for the 2014 tournament in Brazil, acknowledged defeat in its 2018-2022 bid.
"We made a disciplined bid that would have been both valuable to FIFA and profitable for our company, while continuing to grow our unprecedented coverage of the World Cup and Women's World Cup events," ESPN said in a statement. "We were aggressive while remaining prudent from a business perspective."
ESPN, which also broadcast the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, did not say who won the bid.
Univision, holder of the Spanish-language rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, lost out for the next two tournaments to Telemundo -- owned by NBC Universal.
ESPN paid $100 million and Univision paid $325 million for the previous deal.
The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia, and the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
FIFA made the decision on 2018 and 2022 after the networks submitted bids on Wednesday and Thursday.
Fox adds soccer's biggest event to a portfolio of rights that includes the UEFA Champions League, the English Premier League and Italy's Serie A.
FIFA earns about 90 percent of its revenue from broadcasting, sponsorship and marketing deals tied to the World Cup.
The world governing body of soccer calculates it earned $2.4 billion in broadcast sales worldwide for the 2010 tournament. Broadcasters also bought rights to the 2014 event in Brazil.
Qatar defeated the U.S. in the final round of voting for the 2022 World Cup in a five-country contest in December.
FIFA announced in March that it already sold $1.7 billion worth of 2018-2022 broadcast rights to the Middle East and parts of Asia and Latin America. The deals were 90 percent more valuable than the same territories earned for 2010-2014, FIFA said.