Within the terms of a “landmark” deal with the Football Association (FA), the BBC and Sky Sports will broadcast the FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL).
Sky will broadcast 44 matches over the duration of the three-year deal, with a minimum of 35 being broadcast through its Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League, and Sky Sports Football networks, and some matches being broadcast concurrently on Sky One and Sky Sports Mix.
Game changing agreement
Kelly Simmons, FA Director of the Women’s Professional Game said: “We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports and to extend our relationship with the BBC as our domestic broadcast partners from the 2021-22 season in what is a game-changing agreement that will transform the WSL.
“Visibility and investment are such key factors in growing any women’s sport, and we are delighted that Sky Sports and the BBC have made a commitment to broadcast more live women’s football than we have ever seen before, while signifying its true value.”
In addition to Sky, the BBC will broadcast 22 live games every season, with at least 18 of them airing on the BBC One and BBC Two channels for free. On its BBC IPlayer and Red Button platforms, the public service broadcaster has previously seen elite women’s football.
Fantastic news for sports fans and women’s football
BBC Sport Director Barbara Slater added: “This is fantastic news for sports fans and for women’s football. 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.
“With UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 on the horizon, giving fans more opportunities to watch the Barclays FA Women’s Super League will build the excitement for a home tournament.”
Any games not chosen for broadcast on SKy or the BBC will also be broadcast on the FA’s own OTT channel, the FA Player.
Both deals will last until the summer of 2024, greatly increasing visibility for the women’s professional game, which will begin a year before England hosts the UEFA Women’s European Championship in 2022.
FA Director of Commercial and Marketing Kathryn Swarbrick said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have secured this game-changing partnership with Sky Sports and the BBC that will support taking the women’s game to another level.
“Both broadcasters have a vision for women’s football that very much aligns with our own, and that was made clear during the tender process where they outlined some very exciting plans for showcasing the Barclays FA Women’s Super League. We are really looking forward to working with them.”
Dawn Airey, Chair of the WSL and FA Women’s Championship board, also said: “The board have set out an ambitious strategy to have the best professional women’s sports leagues in the world. We believe that having this new partnership with Sky Sports and the BBC will go a long way to helping us achieve that.”