March 23 – English women’s football has struck a ground-breaking deal reported to be worth around £24 million with Sky Sports and the BBC that will include up to 18 Women’s Super League matches per season being shown on the latter, the first time the league will be screened live to free-to-air channels.
Sky have rights to air up to 44 matches per season — two per round of fixtures — with at least 35 matches per campaign guaranteed, including matches on flagship channels Sky Sports Main Event and some simulcast on Sky One.
The BBC has 22 matches per campaign, four of which will be on the Red Button, with the other 18 on either BBC One or BBC Two. A minimum of 12 games over the of the three-year deal will be on BBC One specifically.
All other games in the 132-match season will be shown live on the FA’s online platform ‘FA player’.
The three-year deal is set to make the Women’s Super League the most-watched women’s football league in the world and is the first time WSL rights have been sold separately to the men’s game.
It will also give the women’s game its biggest ever financial boost and unprecedented levels of exposure that will drive new sponsorship as well as attendances as the profile of the WSL increases.
The new deal begins next season and runs until 2024.
“This is a watershed moment. It’s a step change in the value of women’s football,” said Kathryn Swarbrick, the English FA’s director of commercial and marketing.
“Bringing in more revenue than any other women’s domestic league in the world, [plus] an incredible step forward in terms of the unprecedented level of exposure, the partnership across those two broadcasters is the ultimate combination.”
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