WSL announce groundbreaking broadcast deal

Tottenham Hotspur's Siri Worm celebrates with teammates.
Tottenham Hotspur's Siri Worm celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal against Bristol City at The Hive Stadium in London. (Photo by Holly Allison TPI Shutterstock)

The FA have announced that they have signed a multimillion pound deal with Sky Sports and the BBC for the broadcast rights of the 2021/22 Women’s Super League season.

Starting from next season, the deal will run for three years. Its expected worth is around eight million pounds a season. This makes it the biggest broadcast deal of any professional women’s football league in the world.

The deal will see Sky Sports show at least 35 games exclusively live per season. It further strengthens the broadcaster’s commitment to women’s sport.

The BBC will broadcast 22 live matches, with a minimum of 18 shown on BBC One or BBC Two.

Selected matches are expected to be scheduled on various weekend time slots. These include Friday at 18:30 GMT, Saturday at 11:30 GMT, Sunday at 12:30 GMT and Sunday at 18:30 GMT.

Growing the game

Sky Sports Managing Director, Rob Webster, said: ”We are delighted to add the Barclays FA Women’s Super League to our expanding football portfolio. Our goal is to bring our customers more of what they love, and we are certain the WSL will be a success with our football-hungry viewers.

“We look forward to working with The FA and building a close partnership that helps grow the women’s game now and for future generations. With the addition of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, Sky Sports truly is the home of football.”

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Kathryn Swarbrick, FA Director of Commercial and Marketing added, “We are absolutely thrilled to have secured this game-changing partnership that will ensure the Barclays FA Women’s Super League becomes more visible than ever before.

This is a multi-million-pound commitment from Sky that is going to help push the women’s game on even further and support our ambition of having the best professional women’s sports league in the world.

Sky’s vision for women’s football is very much aligned with our own, and that was made clear during the tender process where they outlined some very exciting plans for showcasing the Barclays Women’s Super League. We are really looking forward to working with them.”

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Mainstream broadcasting

The FA’s director of the women’s football Kelly Simmons said, “This is a landmark deal, not just for the WSL but the whole of the women’s game — it’s really going to help us to grow and engage our fan base,” she said. “It is transformational. This is mainstream, this is prime slots on television, big audiences, week in week out and I think it’s such an exciting step for the women’s game.”

The work we do now will be to project those future revenues down the line. We always said to the clubs to believe and invest and now this will be the start of seeing that there’s an ability for the game to take profits and [move away from reliance, long term, on the men’s game.

“It’s going to be hugely visible next season. I’m sure it’ll inspire thousands and thousands of girls to play the game so I just can’t wait.”

Games not on Sky Sports or the BBC will appear live via The FA Player. The governing body’s streaming service also has international availability.

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