Sky Sports has announced a three-year deal with the FA to become the primary broadcaster of the Barclays Women’s Super League from September 2021.
As one of the most competitive leagues, with some of the most famous names and teams in the world, the WSL will be one of Sky Sports’ flagship offerings.
The deal will see Sky Sports show at least 35 games exclusively live per season and further strengthens the broadcaster’s commitment to women’s sport.
Sky Sports Managing Director, Rob Webster, said: ”We are delighted to add the Barclays FA Women’s Super League to our expanding football portfolio. Our goal is to bring our customers more of what they love, and we are certain the WSL will be a success with our football-hungry viewers.
“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 Barclays FA Women’s Super League, Sky Sports truly is the home of football.”
Kathryn Swarbrick, FA Director of Commercial and Marketing, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have secured this game-changing partnership that will ensure the Barclays FA Women’s Super League becomes more visible than ever before.
“This is a multi-million-pound commitment from Sky that is going to help push the women’s game on even further and support our ambition of having the best professional women’s sports league in the world.
“Sky’s vision for women’s football is very much aligned with our own, and that was made clear during the tender process where they outlined some very exciting plans for showcasing the Barclays Women’s Super League. We are really looking forward to working with them.”
The history of the WSL
- April 2011 – The inaugural WSL season begins with an eight-team league played through the summer.
- Early 2014 – A second league, WSL 2, is added with one team relegated from the top tier, WSL 1.
- December 2014 – WSL 1 expanded to 10 teams while teams from the third tier – the Women’s Premier League – could earn promotion to WSL 2.
- July 2016 – WSL campaigns move back to a winter season in line with the traditional English football calendar.
- February to May 2017 – The FA WSL Spring Series is played to bridge the gap between summer and winter seasons. Each team played each other once with Chelsea winning WSL 1 and Everton winning WSL 2.
- 2017/18 season – WSL 1 reverts back to being called the Women’s Super League.
- 2018/19 season – The WSL becomes a fully professional league and expanded to 11 teams. Each club has to reapply for their licence, meeting the compulsory requirements of a minimum 16-hour contract for players and to form a youth academy. Brighton and West Ham were added to the top tier. WSL 2 is renamed as the Women’s Championship.
- 2019/20 season – The WSL is expanded again to 12 teams. Man Utd and Tottenham are promoted from the Championship. Yeovil Town relegated after entering administration. Due to Covid-19, the season is ended early and decided on points-per-game. Chelsea are crowned champions with Liverpool relegated.
Sky Sports will now begin a recruitment process for the best in class on and off-screen production team as part of the plan to align WSL with the broadcaster’s other big sporting leagues and events.
The WSL will get the full Sky Sports treatment with lengthy build-ups and reaction to all live matches, plus daily news from the competition across Sky Sports News and Sky Sports’ digital platforms.