Brighton & Hove Albion defender Victoria Williams says that she finds the potential range of kick-off times brought by the Barclays FA Women’s Super League’s new broadcast deal exciting rather than problematic.
The women’s game recorded a landmark moment on Monday when a new multi-million pound broadcast rights deal was announced with Sky and the BBC. The deal will see a minimum of 57 games a season shown on mainstream channels across the two broadcasters while revenue streams will feed into Barclays FA Women’s Super League clubs and clubs further down the pyramid.
From a fan point of view, the deal is expected to bring some inconvenient kick-off times with evening fixtures on Fridays and Sundays possible, along with early weekend games.
When speaking about the deal in a club press conference, Brighton & Hove Albion defender Williams said that she finds the range of kick-off times suggested exciting rather than inconvenient.
“We will just prepare for them as normal, we are in for training early most days anyway,” said Williams when discussing the early and late kick-offs. “The club support us fantastically when we are away, whether that be staying the night before and possibly the night after the game.
“It might present some challenges but clubs will obviously do their best to make sure that player welfare is looked after, especially if you are travelling the length and breadth of the country.
“To be honest, it is more exciting than not but saying that, I am not the one booking hotels and coaches.”
The broadcast deal was followed by a superb performance from Williams’ former club Chelsea in the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday. The Blues defeated VfL Wolfsburg for the first time in a thrilling first leg fixture in Budapest. Williams said that heroic performances like the one put in by Chelsea will only enhance the growth of the English game.
“We have one of the most competitive leagues in the world,” Williams added. “We have got two English clubs in the quarter-finals at the moment and you want to support those clubs because they continue to spread the word about the level of football being played in this country.
“In conjunction with the new deal, hopefully that encourages more commercial opportunities to increase revenue into the game.”
The new broadcast deal will initially run for three years from next season and is thought to be worth over £7 million per season.