English soccer’s top-tier Women’s Super League (WSL) competition will continue to be aired domestically in the upcoming 2024-25 campaign by its current media rights partners, the BBC and Sky, it has been reported.

The public-service BBC, and pay-TV heavyweight Sky, are close to striking one-year extensions to their present WSL coverage deals, which expire at the end of the ongoing 2023-24 campaign (having kicked off in 2021), the Daily Telegraph publication has reported.

The Telegraph has said that this move has come as a short-term solution in order to give the league’s organizers, and interested broadcasters, more time to arrange a longer-term set of deals from 2025-26 onwards.

The tender process for the next set of domestic WSL broadcast rights was launched in recent months, and as yet no agreements have been disclosed around live coverage of the 12-team league.

The current three-season WSL domestic rights cycle began in advance of the 2021-22 campaign, with Sky and the BBC striking deals that, combined, had a total value of just over $11 million per season, GlobalData (Sportcal) estimated.

Through those deals, Sky holds rights to cover up to 44 games each season, with the BBC able to show up to 22 live.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

This season, both Sky and the BBC have secured record audiences for their WSL coverage, with the BBC breaking the barrier of a million peak viewers (across linear and digital platforms) for its coverage of Chelsea’s 5-1 win over Liverpool in November.

These viewing records come on top of attendance records for the league being set this year as well.

The WSL has already seen 717,721 fans attend a match so far this season, with the previous record of 689,297 having been set in 2022-23.

November also saw the 24 clubs across the WSL and the second-tier Women’s Championship come together to agree on the creation of a new, club-owned, structure to run those leagues from 2024-25.

NewCo (a working title at this stage), will take control of the two divisions, both of which have up until now been run by the Football Association (FA) body. Each club in the top two tiers will become a shareholder, and former NIKE executive and investment banker Nikki Doucet has become the firm’s first chief executive.

The FA has run the 12-team WSL since the league first launched 13 years ago, but unveiled in 2018 that it did not want to run the WSL as a long-term commitment and that it would welcome proposals as to the creation of an alternative governance structure.

It has now been reported that once NewCo is properly up and running, and in control of the top two leagues, a more long-term and lucrative domestic broadcast deal can be struck.

It is also understood that the timing of WSL fixtures could be altered in terms of which slots they take place in across the weekend, under a new deal, with games on Friday and Saturday evenings one possibility. The majority of WSL games currently take place on Sunday afternoons.

This week has already seen media reports that the WSL is close to finalizing a lucrative title sponsorship extension with global bank Barclays.

The Telegraph has said that Barclays will pay as much as £9 million ($11.4 million) per season over three campaigns to continue as the title sponsor of the WSL, as well as of the second-tier Championship, from the beginning of the 2025-26 season through the end of the 2027-28 campaign.

This would amount to as much as double the current yearly fee the league receives from Barclays for the same sponsorship rights.

Barclays has been the title sponsor of the WSL since the beginning of the 2019-20 season and the agreement was renewed for a second three-year term ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. That deal stretches to the end of 2024-25.