The Football Association have today announced an exclusive new rights agreement with Sky Sports and the BBC which will come into effect from the 2021/2022 Barclays FA Women’s Super League season.
As part of a continued effort to increase the visibility of the women’s game, this deal will provide football fans with a new level of access to the league, as The FA embarks on the road to a home UEFA Women’s EURO in 2022. The multi-million-pound deal, the first of it’s kind for women’s football in England, will run for three years up until the summer of 2024.
In what will be Sky Sports’ first foray into broadcasting the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, they have acquired the rights to air up to 44 live fixtures. At least 35 of these will be shown across their major football channels; Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football with some games also accessible on Sky Sports Mix and Sky One.
The BBC will continue their long-standing commitment to women’s football with the rights to broadcast 22 live matches each season, at least 18 of which will be screened on BBC One and BBC Two. In previous seasons, weekly Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixtures have been available via the BBC Red Button and BBC iPlayer but this deal sees such games move over to live, free-to-air TV on the BBC’s major channels.
The FA have also announced that Barclays FA Women’s Super League clubs will be the recipients of a proportion of the revenue gained from the deal. A further pool of the funds received will also be utilised for the continued growth of women’s football nationally, through the allocation of funds to FA Women’s Championship clubs in order to support their future advancement.
Discussing the landmark agreement in a press release issued by The FA to FAWSL Full-Time, Director of the Women’s Professional Game, Kelly Simmons, said “We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports and to extend our relationship with the BBC as our domestic broadcast partners from the 2021/2022 season in what is a game-changing agreement that will transform the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
“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.”
Rob Webster, Managing Director of Sky Sports showed his support and excitement for the new deal, saying “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 league will be a success with our football-hungry viewers.
“We will be giving the Barclays FA Women’s Super League the full Sky Sports treatment with lengthy build-ups and reaction to all live matches, plus a daily narrative of the league across Sky Sports News and our digital platforms.”
The Director of BBC Sport, Barbara Slater added “This is fantastic news for sports fans and for women’s football. We are delighted to offer the Barclays 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.”