Women’s Super League agrees NBC rights contract
New Atalanta Media partnership also brings in DAZN deals for Germany and Italy.
Posted: September 2 2020
By: Tom Bassam
- WSL to see first games broadcast on US TV via NBCSN
- Contract covers 50 matches, with 12 getting linear distribution
- DAZN adds 44-game package for German and Italian services
The Football Association (FA), English soccer’s governing body, has agreed new overseas broadcast partnerships for its elite Women’s Super League (WSL) covering the US, Germany and Italy.
In the US, 50 WSL games from the 2020/21 season will be aired across the NBC Sports Network linear channel and digital platforms, with a potential reach of 85 million homes. The deal with the Comcast-owned network is a landmark agreement for the WSL, which will be broadcast on US television for the first time with a minimum of 12 matches getting linear distribution.
The other new broadcast partnership is with global digital sports media company DAZN, which has picked up a package of 44 matches for its German and Italian services.
Fixtures not shown through one of the new broadcast partners will be streamed live through The FA Player platform.
Women’s Super League receives Bridgepoint investment interest
The deals were secured by newly-launched women’s soccer rights agency Atalanta Media. The WSL broadcast partnerships are the first signed off by Atalanta, which is backed by Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners and founded by collegiate sports marketer Esmeralda Negron, alongside ex-Sky media rights executive Hannah Brown.
“The quality of play and opportunity for women’s football globally has never been greater, but broad distribution and coverage lags outside worldwide events,” said Negron. “Atalanta Media is here to provide the year-round exposure and commercialisation necessary for women’s football to fulfill its potential.”
To add value for the WSL, Atalanta Media is also bringing in content from its distribution partners, as well as players and influencers, onto a new women’s soccer platform under the AtaFootball brand. The new digital hub will offer live matches, highlights, and other engagement tools for fans of the women’s game.
Digital broadcast solutions company Nunchee, which is another 777 Partners investment, will provide the tech backbone for AtaFootball, with Nunchee-supported over-the-top (OTT) platform Fanatiz also serving as a media partner for the rights agency.
For the FA, the increased overseas distribution for the WSL follows a broadcast contract signed last season with Optus in Australia, as well as Pitch-authored three-year deals with Sky Mexico and Nordic Entertainment Group (Nent) – the latter covering Scandinavia – that each reportedly brought in six-figures.