British sports streaming service DAZN revealed its decision to cancel the subscription fee for women’s football content throughout the remaining 2023-24 season in the UK, in order to help promote the women’s game.
Its New Deal for Women’s Football campaign has been introduced to help boost investment and make the women’s game financially sustainable.
The New Deal campaign is calling for clubs, sponsors, media and broadcasters and rights holders to get involved and come together to build a major global commercial sport.
The original strategy that was outlined in the agreement was that in the initial two years of the broadcast deal (21/22 & 22/23 seasons), where all 61 matches were available for free viewing.
Then in the 2023/24 season it moved to a subscription-based model, locking out fans from being able to view the games live on DAZN or its YouTube channel for free.
This announcement affects all Women’s Champions League matches, as well as the Women’s leagues in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and Saudi Arabia, which will now be accessible without cost.
This means the remaining 29 Champions League matches, 48 Liga F matches, 48 in Frauen Bundesliga, 15 Saudi Women’s league and 50 in the Italian Serie A Femminile will be broadcast for free in the UK.
DAZN released a statement last Thursday that mentioned the reason why the streaming company decided to make the games free.
“This will drive audience growth and provide a new global home for women’s football, offering greater access to games, content and the international women’s football community,” confirming that the decision is part of its new campaign to “ensure a commercially robust future for women’s football.”
DAZN’s co-CEO of women’s sport, Hannah Brown explained what this move means for the future of the sport.
“The women’s game has significant commercial potential,” she said in a statement.
“Without it [the New Deal campaign] a golden opportunity to accelerate growth is lost.”
The numbers released by DAZN since the start of their partnership agreement with the Women’s CL also suggest that there is a magnification on women’s football.
In the competition’s inaugural broadcast year for the 2021/22 final they got 3.6 million in global viewership and a cumulative viewership of 64 million. This went up to 5.1 million for the 22/23 final and an 87 million cumulative global viewership total.
The decision to make women’s football accessible is the right one at the expense of money earned through subscriptions. The best way to grow the sport is to maintain a healthy audience and to not restrict women’s football from the masses in its time of extreme growth.