Women’s football expands exposure with Sky and BBC broadcasting deals

The FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) is set to expand its coverage and exposure in the UK, having secured broadcasting deals with the BBC and Sky Sports.

As a result of the deal with the BBC, the free-to-air public service broadcaster will provide coverage of at least 22 live games per season, with a minimum of 18 fixtures covered on the BBC One and BBC Two channels. The network has previously shown elite women’s football on its BBC IPlayer and Red Button offerings.

Both agreements will run into the summer of 2024, significantly boosting the exposure of the women’s professional game a year before the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championship, which will take place in England.

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, commented: “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.”

Additionally, Sky will broadcast 44 fixtures, with a minimum of 35 showcased across its Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football channels, whilst some matches will be shown simultaneously on Sky One and Sky Sports Mix.

“We are delighted to add the WSL 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,” added Rob Webster, Managing Director of Sky Sports.

“We will be giving the WSL 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.

“We look forward to working with the FA and building a close partnership that helps grow the women’s game now and for future generations. With the addition of the WSL, Sky Sports truly is the home of football.”

Furthermore, any games not selected for broadcast on either Sky or the BBC will be broadcast by the FA’s own OTT service, the FA Player.

“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,” remarked Kathryn Swarbrick, FA Director of Commercial and Marketing

“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.”