The Football Association (FA) has announced a ground-breaking multimillion pound broadcast deal with BBC and Sky Sports for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League football (WSL).
This is the first time the rights to WSL have been sold separately from the men’s game, with a percentage of the revenue going to the clubs in the league.
“Visibility and investment are such key factors in growing any women’s sport,” says Kelly Simmons, FA director of the women’s professional game. “We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports and to extend our relationship with the BBC in what is a game-changing agreement that will transform the WSL”.
The three‑year long agreement gives Sky Sports the right to show up to 44 matches, with a minimum of 35 being screened across their Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football channels.
“We will be giving the WSL the full Sky Sports treatment,” says Rob Webster, managing director of Sky Sports. “Lengthy build-ups, reaction to all live matches, plus a daily narrative of the league across Sky Sports News and our digital platforms.”
The BBC has previously broadcasted the women’s games on BBC iPlayer and Red Button. Now it made a committed to showcase the league to a broader audience by playing 22 live games per season, with a minimum of 18 matches on BBC One and BBC Two.
“This is fantastic news for sports fans and for women’s football,” said Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport. “We are delighted to offer the FA Women’s Super League a free-to-air platform to ensure the sport, and the players, connect with the widest possible audience.”
A women’s sport which was merely impossible to watch on television only 15 years ago has now signed an agreement worth approximately £24 million, making it the biggest broadcast deal of any professional women’s football league in the world.
Feature image: Skysports.com