By Gary Anderson

The BBC and ITV will continue to provide coverage of the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and 2022 ©AFP/Getty ImagesFIFA has awarded the UK broadcast rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to the BBC and ITV, while German broadcasters ARD and ZDF have secured rights to the 2022 World Cup following a meeting of FIFA's Executive Committee in São Paulo.

While no financial details of the packages have been released, the deal sees the continuation of both the BBC and ITV's shared coverage of football's showpiece event in the UK, which dates back to the 1966 tournament held in England.

The UK rights to the 2010 tournament in South Africa and this year's event in Brazil are believed to have sold for around £220 million ($370 million/€272 million) in total when the last broadcast rights deals were announced.

It is estimated that more the 75 per cent of the UK population tuned into coverage of the 2010 World Cup and the tournament in Russia in four year's time will represent the 14th consecutive World Cup that will be shared by both free-to-air broadcasters.

"We are delighted to have secured the rights to one of the biggest sporting events in the world," said BBC director of sport Barbara Slater.

"It is fantastic news that the pinnacle event in world football will continue to be available free of charge for everyone in the UK.

"As we prepare for kick-off in Brazil we hope viewers at home will enjoy watching it as much as we will look forward to broadcasting it."

Around three quarters of the UK population tuned into coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the BBC and ITV ©AFP/Getty ImagesAround three quarters of the UK population tuned into coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the BBC and ITV ©AFP/Getty Images

The new agreement covers television, radio and online coverage.

ITV are set to broadcast the opening game of Brazil 2014 on Thursday (June 12).

Both will provide live coverage of the final on July 13 from the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

"The excitement building on the eve of this summer's tournament in Brazil demonstrates how the World Cup offers a shared, collective experience for people across the UK," said Niall Sloane, director of sport at ITV.

"So we're thrilled to be able to look forward to bringing the next two World Cups free to air to viewers in 2018 and 2022."

The deal with ARD and ZDF will see both provide free-to-air broadcast coverage of the Qatar 2022 World Cup across Germany.

Both have already secured rights to the 2018 edition, reportedly paying €200 million (£162 million/$272 million) in the deal which was announced in April 2012.

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