W-Sport, the dedicated women’s sports TV channel, has expanded its reach into France after striking a distribution agreement with broadband operator Free.
Under the deal, the W-Sport channel will be carried in French on the Freebox basic tier (channel 62), giving viewers access to W-Sports’ live soccer portfolio including top-tier domestic competitions like England’s Women’s Super League, Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga, the US National Women's Soccer League, and Sweden’s Damallsvenskan.
Outside of soccer, W-Sport also shows tennis' Hopman Cup, the UK’s Netball Super League, Extreme E motor racing, and various Pac-12 sports from the American collegiate system.
W-Sport’s content includes live and delayed event coverage as well as magazine programming and documentaries.
The deal follows similar distribution deals struck by W-Sports in Belgium, Portugal (NOS), the Netherlands (KPN), Malaysia (Astro), and Indonesia, as well as 30 territories in sub-Saharan Africa.
Kelly Butler, chief executive of W-Sport, said: “Launching our channel in one of Europe’s largest territories, particularly in the native language, is a landmark moment for W-Sport’s evolution.
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“2023 has seen extraordinary momentum behind women’s sport globally and W-Sport continues to grow in parallel – with Free in France, we take another step forward.”
The network, which includes the first dedicated 24/7 channel entirely focused on women’s sports, was initially launched in July 2021 by Mickey O’Rourke – also the co-founder and chief executive of the Premier Sports UK and Irish pay-TV channels – alongside Butler, a former senior vice-president at Fox Sports.
Both O’Rourke and Butler also previously worked for the (now non-operational in the UK) pay-TV network Setanta Sports.