FA Expected to Sell WSL Broadcast Rights to Sky Sports in Landmark Deal

Jackie Groenen, Jess Carter
Sky Sports is tipped to broadcast WSL games from 2021/22 | Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Barclays FA Women’s Super League matches could be broadcast live on Sky Sports as of the 2021/22 season, marking another potentially significant leap forward for the women’s game.

As things stand, most WSL games are freely accessible via the FA Player app, with a handful of fixtures shown live on BBC and BT Sport platforms. But both broadcasters have always been given the rights for free and have only covered their own costs, rather than paying for the privilege.

Reshmin Chowdhury, Rachel Brown-Finnis, Rachel Yankey
BT Sport & BBC have only ever covered costs to broadcast WSL games | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

But with the FA increasingly trying to monetise the WSL, which will in turn bring greater revenue to clubs and allow for further development in terms of better contracts, bigger signings and higher standards of coaching and facilities, TV rights are being sold for the first time.

In the last 12 months, international broadcast deals have already been agreed with TV networks covering Mexico and Central America and Scandinavia.

NBC also recently secured the rights to show 50 WSL games in the United States this season, with American interest in the English league piquing because thanks to USWNT stars Sam Mewis, Rose Lavelle, Tobin Heath, Christen Press and Alex Morgan all signing deals with WSL clubs.

Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan is one of several huge WSL signings for this season | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

As of next season, the FA has made all its women’s club and international football available for sale and the Daily Telegraph has reported that Sky have outbid other UK broadcasters for most packages.

While Sky declined to make any comment to the newspaper, it is said that the media giant see potential for the women’s game to now grow rapidly thanks to the influx of big-name signings.

The FA have developed a new strategy to increase revenue in the women’s game, aided by Women’s Sports Group, a right management firm co-founded by David Kogan, the co-founder of a company that has previously overseen in excess of £20bn of sports rights sales.

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