UK pay-TV broadcaster TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport) has today (November 14) unveiled a major swathe of additions to its women’s soccer coverage, through a sub-licensing deal with global subscription streaming platform DAZN.
Through the tie-up, TNT Sports (rebranded as such in August after being bought by Warner Bros. Discovery) will show one game per match week from the group stage of the top-tier UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) club pan-European competition (which starts today), as well as all games from the quarter-finals onwards.
These will be co-broadcast with rightsholder DAZN, which will still cover all 61 games from the UWCL this season, (and also holds rights to the French, Spanish, and German top-tier women’s leagues).
Under the same agreement in the UK and Ireland, TNT Sports will also cover one match live per week from across three top-tier women’s leagues around the continent – Division 1 Arkema in France, Liga F in Spain, and the Frauen Bundesliga in Germany. That side of the deal begins with coverage of Barcelona vs Real Madrid on November 19 – the Liga F version of El Clasico.
DAZN holds rights for all three of those competitions in the UK during 2023-24.
This tie-up has been struck following DAZN confirming that it would keep its coverage of the UWCL group stages free to watch across most global territories. Every group stage fixture will be free across the majority of DAZN’s range of international markets, with the exception of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and China.
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Live coverage of both the UWCL and the trio of domestic leagues will be “supported by reports and analysis on the TNT Sports App and TNT Sports’ dedicated social and digital platforms,” the broadcaster has said.
This agreement with DAZN – which holds global UWCL rights for the 2021-24 cycle – means TNT Sports has rights to both the men’s and women’s Champions League this season. Indeed, it holds exclusive live UK rights to the men’s competition.
In addition, the tie-up also strengthens WBD’s slate of live women’s sports rights in the UK and Ireland. Through TNT Sports, that entertainment and media giant covers the Premiership Women’s Rugby league, while its Eurosport broadcaster shows the Tour de France Femmes and all action from women’s cycling’s World Tour.
The Women's Super League top-tier domestic soccer competition, however, has pay-TV rival Sky Sports and the BBC public-service network as rightsholders.
Trojan Paillot, senior vice president of sports rights acquisitions and syndication for Warner Bros. Discovery Europe, said: "As a multi-sport broadcaster, it is our responsibility to reflect the diversity of our audiences and society. Our mission is to bring parity to live coverage of world-class sport irrespective of gender …
“To enable this, we always look for opportunities to expand our women’s sport portfolio to offer fans the greatest choice and we are therefore delighted to collaborate with DAZN to show UEFA Women’s Champions League games in the UK and Ireland alongside some of the best matches from the top European leagues.
“We plan to support the burgeoning interest in women’s soccer in this country and to serve fans with the coverage and content the players deserve to support the continued growth of the sport for all to enjoy.”
Initially, UWCL group stage matches will be available via DAZN’s YouTube channel, with coverage after matchday four from the group stages switching instead to the platform’s mobile app and other sites. Some games will, however, be restricted from YouTube across France, Germany, and Spain.
That news came as a u-turn by DAZN, which in May had said it would only show 19 UWCL games free in certain markets this season, with the other 42 being only available via its paid subscription service.
At the end of last season, DAZN struck a late sub-licensing deal covering the UWCL final between Barcelona and Wolfsburg with the European Broadcasting Union of public-service broadcasters.