Emma Hayes Manchester City Women v Chelsea Women - SSE Women's FA Cup Semi Final football match, Academy Stadium, Manchester, UK - 14 Apr 2019 Photo: Lynne Cameron for The FA

‘A day everyone has worked really hard towards’ – Chelsea’s Hayes reflects on landmark TV deal

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says the landmark broadcast deal for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League has been ‘a day that everyone has worked really hard towards’.

The deal is said to be worth millions of pounds to the women’s game and will see broadcasting giants Sky and the BBC broadcast games across their main channels.

Sky will broadcast 44 matches, with a minimum of 35 being shown across their four main sports channels, whereas the BBC will broadcast 22 games with a minimum of 18 being shown on mainstream, free-to-air channels.

The agreement will last three years and will run from this summer up until the same point in 2024. This is the first time that the Barclays FA Women’s Super League rights have been sold separately from the men’s game.

Speaking in Chelsea’s UEFA Women’s Champions League pre-match press conference, manager Hayes was delighted with the news of the deal.

She said “It’s driven a new standard. The fact it’s a record deal, worldwide, just shows how much we are putting our money where our mouth is.

“We’re delighted that we are both with Sky and BBC, it’s two amazing spaces for us to get prime time regular slots.”

The deal will see clubs in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League receive a proportion of the revenue while FA Women’s
Championship clubs will also receive an income stream to aid their development.

Commenting on this element of the deal, Hayes said “The clubs are going to prosper from it and it’s something everyone is really excited about.

“It’s up to the clubs now to make sure that we have the facilities to make sure these games are on week in, week out throughout the season.”

“This is the first watershed mark moment. The fact that all of them are committing is an important marker, huge credit to The FA for brokering that.”

The deal comes as Chelsea and Manchester City play out one of the most thrilling Barclays FA Women’s Super League title races in history while the pair are also making their mark in European competition, qualifying for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. The deal will open the game up to a whole new audience and will undoubtedly attract new fans, aiding the growth of the game.

Article author: Matthew Ward

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