All Women's Super League games to be televised for free by the FA this season
Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Getty Images

All Women's Super League games to be televised for free by the FA this season

The FA announced the new move on Tuesday morning and it could be hugely significant in the growth of the women's game.

amillington
Adam Millington

This morning, the Football Association announced that all 132 Women's Super League matches this season will be available for fans to watch online for free. As well as this, one Championship game will be broadcast every week online too.

During this year's Women's World Cup, England broke records for their viewing figures for the Women's game as the team progressed through the knockout stages. Every single one of the WWC games was available to watch live, for free for any fan in the UK - which has led to an influx of interest in the women's game; many clubs announcing an increase in sales.

How to access the content

The FA have stated that all content will be available through a platform called 'The FA Player'. It is advertised that not only will FAWSL and FAWC games be available, but content related to the Lionesses will also be available to view - free of charge.

Highlights, goals, features and archive matches from domestic and International Women's football will also be able to watch on the platform

How significant is it?

The Women's game in the UK has grown a lot, but there is still far that the domestic league has to grow. Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are all experimenting with playing matches at their retrospective men's team's stadiums, on the back of the increase in the public interest.

However, media coverage for the WSL has always been lacking compared to that of even the lower leagues of the men's game, with it not always being easy for a casual fan to keep up to date. 

The ability for anybody in the UK to watch the only fully-professional women's football league in the world is a major step forward. Hopefully, the ease of access now will get more fans of men's teams involved in the women's game, as last season's average match attendance for the WSL was 833.

The long-term impact

The women's game is underfunded in the UK, and the first step towards revolutionising it is for it to be more readily available in the public eye.

Free TV coverage will not immediately make a monetary impact on the game, but long term it will help to introduce more people to the league who may then come to games and can hopefully quash stereotypes held by some people about the quality of the women's game.

The FA are also significantly promoting their grassroots football projects, and the SSE Wildcats program will help to develop future generations of footballing talent across England. There is no doubt that public interest is at a much higher point than ever for Women's football, and with the Olympics in 2020, and the subsequent Euros at home in 2021, the footballing system will be looking to capitalise on the success of the Lionesses.

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