National Women’s Soccer League score big with record-breaking domestic TV rights deal

NWSL TV rights deal

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) have secured a four-year, $240 million USD ($324 million AUD) domestic broadcast deal with four major streaming and cable partners.

Starting in 2024, CBS, ESPN, Prime Video and Scripps Sports will nationally broadcast 118 NWSL games, and this deal also becomes the most expensive TV deal in women’s sports history which sends a strong message about its huge presence in the worlds game.

The NWSL broke several league records in this past season that completed, with record highs in membership sales, average attendance, ticket sales and single game attendance.

The NWSL has no doubt been the league to set a standard for professionalism in women’s football and no doubt the success of the US Women’s National team propelled that push to a competitive environment where the best players and coaches feature.

The financial stability of the NWSL has set an example for other women’s leagues globally, encouraging corporate investment in women’s football. The influx of financial support through sponsorships allows for the world class facilities and increased player salaries, both topics that were previously issues within the space.

NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman mentioned that this deal signifies the league’s insane growth since its inception back in 2013.

“This moment is a celebration, a celebration of how far we’ve come and far we’re headed,” Berman said via press conference in San Diego last week.

“These partnerships fundamentally change the game for our league and the players who take the pitch each week. The investment into facilities and grassroots will be vital for the foundation we aim to build.

“We have taken great care to ensure our games are discoverable by increasing our reach in order to expose new audiences to everything that makes our league special, without compromising the economic value of our product. This is the beginning of our future.”

In a similar fashion, the A-League Women’s competition saw their record memberships tally for multiple teams smashed and round one attendances were fantastic compared to recent years. There were many positives from the Women’s World Cup that attributed to this rise however a little concern is the talent pool compared to other top leagues.

It has become an issue in the A-League Men’s competition and although the Matilda’s are a skilled, popular national team, it is increasingly rare to see talent be homegrown as most top young Australian players are pipped by US or European clubs to develop their skills.

The news of this NWSL record TV rights deal, and the compounding positives news in the Women’s football space over the last 12 months shows that there is a strong foundation that will inspire young girls to participate and support the sport.

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

The biggest Female Football Week to date draws to a close

Female Football week is at its climax across the country with each respective state firmly involved in what has been a monumental year of growth and perseverance with one of the hottest topics amongst the sporting plethora across the nation.

Symbolising the significant strides in which female football has made down under, off the back of its maiden World Cup hosting tenure.

Football Queensland throughout the grand occasion were busy shining a spotlight upon the continuous growth of participation, encouraging women of all ages to become involved and immersed within the global game.

Football Victoria – Commentary

Football Victoria (FV) celebrated women’s football week in style.

Round 8 of the National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) competition within Victoria was unique throughout its coverage, with every match throughout the round featuring a female commentator.

A monumental feat spearheaded by the FV Commentary team, this was the first time an all female commentary round was executed.

Football Queensland

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his appreciation for the momentous occasion via the FQ website.

“While celebrations like FFW serve as a crucial milestone in FQ’s journey towards achieving 50/50 gender parity by 2027 and helps to further reinforce our commitment to enhancing accessibility and inclusivity, our support is not confined to this week, as we remain dedicated to prioritising our female football community year-round.”

Football Queensland – Award Ceremony

Paying homage to Referees, Club Volunteers, Players and Community Champions of the year was conducted through awards up for grabs.

FQ showcased an award ceremony towards multiple facets of football throughout the state.

A nice incentive dedicated to the recognition and appraisal of the hard work undertaken by different areas of football.

The Female Football Week club of the year was awarded to Central Football Club following their extraordinary contribution to female football within Queensland.

Displayed throughout the clubs commitment to female football, the club are fully dedicated to the advancement of women’s football.

Harvesting a fostering environment throughout the club, alongside the nourishment of young promising female footballers has been symbolised by FQ.

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