Women's Super League strike landmark multi-million pound TV deal

The English Women's Super League has struck a multi-million pound television deal to show live matches in the United Kingdom from the 2021-22 season.

The Football Association called the move a "watershed moment" in the women's game in the UK, with 22 live matches on BBC TV and up to 44 matches on Sky Sports. WSL clubs will receive 75% of the investment revenue, with the remaining 25% going to clubs in the Women's Championship.

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The FA also said the UK's deal is worth "significantly" more than the rights in the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) and the NWSL (National Women's Soccer League) in the United States.

"It is one of the biggest deals commercially, definitely for women's football in terms of a domestic deal, and up there for women's sport," FA Director of the Women's Game, Kelly Simmons, told the BBC.

"We have benchmarks for what we think are the most successful, high-profile women's sport leagues in the world like the WNBA and the NWSL, and they are low hundreds of thousands in terms of an average peak per week.

"We anticipate this would significantly be above that."

The agreements with both broadcasters will run until the summer of 2024.

"The way this sport has developed in this country over the last few years has been unbelievable," Manchester City's Steph Houghton added to the BBC.

"I think this will really push our league to be the best in Europe, if not the world."

Chelsea are the reigning WSL champions, having been awarded the title in the 2019-20 campaign following the league's stoppage due to the coronavirus outbreak, and are leaders in 2020-21 with City in second place and two points behind.