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Sky’s Historical TV Deal for Women’s Soccer

Barclays FA WSL/Design: Alex Brooks

Comcast’s Sky Sports and the BBC signed a broadcast deal with the Football Association’s Women’s Super League to air on free network TV for the first time in history.

Running for three years starting in the 2021-2022 season, it will be the biggest broadcast deal of any professional women’s soccer league, with 44 matches broadcast each season. The WSL — U.K. women’s flagship domestic league — currently has 12 teams.

The deal is worth “around £8m a season,” according to The Guardian, which is a little more than $11 million.

  • Some money will go toward central investments, including referee development.
  • The rest will be split among clubs — the WSL will receive 75%, and the Championship will receive 25%.

“We will be giving the Barclays FA Women’s Super League the full Sky Sports treatment, with lengthy buildups and reaction to all live matches, plus a daily narrative of the league across Sky Sports News and our digital platforms,” said managing director of Sky Sports Rob Webster.

Kathryn Swarbrick, FA director of commercial and marketing, noted that they want to work with Sky “on what they do best … driving awareness of the WSL, building a profile of the players, of the clubs, and also creating the kind of content that will excite fans.”

Sky has seen success broadcasting men’s games, including the Premier League — the richest in Europe. Sales topped $7 billion in the 2018-2019 seasons, and Sky is hoping to see the same for women.