There’s big news for women’s football television coverage in the UK! Today, Sky Sports and BBC both announced a “multi-million pound” deal to televise the FA Women’s Super League in the UK starting in 2021-22!
Sky Sports and BBC win rights to broadcast Barclays FA WSL from 2021/22— Rich Laverty (@RichJLaverty) March 22, 2021
- 'multimillion-pound' agreement
- Deal to 2024
- Sky Sports to show 44 live games, with 35 on Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League/Football
- BBC to show 22 live games, with minimum 18 on BBC 1 and 2
This is, without qualification, a game changer for the WSL. Interest in WoSo has spiked since the Women’s World Cup in 2019, but has been hurt by COVID-19 terminating the 2019-20 season early. Several higher profile matches were held in large men’s stadiums at the beginning of last season, including matches at Stamford Bridge, the London Stadium, and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. However, those matches, which were televised nationally in the UK, were few and far between.
It’s not clear if this agreement covers every match starting next season, but it’s a lot more than are televised now, and will not only increase eyeballs on the WSL but also will help boost the league financially. Matches that are not picked up for television will be streamed for free on the FA Player, as has been the case this season.
Lucrative television deals are a big part of what has propelled the Premier League into the stratosphere. That’s unlikely to be the case for the WSL, at least not immediately, but it will absolutely to be a boon for every club in the league.
For Tottenham Hotspur supporters, that means more opportunities to watch Spurs Women on the telly (or in the pub), better commentary teams, and less having to futz with a sometimes flaky FA Player stream. That’s a good thing!