EXCLUSIVE: TNT Sport set to bid for live rights to the Women's Super League to compete with current broadcasters BBC and Sky Sports – in a major boost for the women's game
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EXCLUSIVE: TNT Sport set to bid for live rights to the Women's Super League to compete with current broadcasters BBC and Sky Sports – in a major boost for the women's game

Jan 3, 2024
  • Current deal for £8million-a-year was signed in 2021 and will rise considerably
  • TNT are interested in the possible end of the 3pm blackout – and more games 
  • Why we should get excited about Cole Palmer – Listen here to It’s All Coming Up 

TNT Sport are set to bid for live rights for the Women’s Super League for the first time in what would be a major boost for the women’s game. 

The current £8million-a-year broadcast deal, in which WSL matches are shared between Sky Sports and the BBC, expires at the end of the season and a bid from TNT would increase its value considerably.

While the WSL have yet to issue its invitation to tender, Mail Sport has learned that it will feature a significant increase on number of games available from the current deal, in which Sky show 35 matches-a-season and the BBC 22

The WSL auction is due to begin in January following the conclusion of the Premier League’s UK rights sale. An increase in the number of WSL games televised could lead to Sky and TNT sharing live rights, as they do for the Premier League.

TNT’s interest in acquiring the WSL is understood to have been increased by the possibility that the 3pm blackout could be lifted next season, which would enable them to broadcast matches live on Saturday afternoons. 

TNT Sports are thought to be preparing to tender a bid for the WSL live rights in January 2024

TNT Sports are thought to be preparing to tender a bid for the WSL live rights in January 2024

The broadcaster are looking to invest more widely in women's sports and will look to get even more games with demise of 3pm blackout

The broadcaster are looking to invest more widely in women’s sports and will look to get even more games with demise of 3pm blackout

The Warner Brothers/Discovery owned sports channel have taken a conscious decision to build their programming around live action, whereas Sky have less interest in Saturday afternoon games as they remain committed to their popular results and discussion show, Soccer Saturday.

TNT are also increasing their investment in women’s sport and this week announced a new deal to broadcast 20 games from Women’s Premiership Rugby each season. 

The new channel’s football coverage is already notable for its use of female broadcasters, with Lynsey Hipgrave and Laura Woods fronting their Premier League and Champions League games respectively, and Jules Breach presenting on Europa League nights as well as fulfilling the role of senior reporter.

WSL clubs are hopeful that the explosion of interest in women’s football sparked by England’s Lionesses will lead to a major increase in TV receipts since the last deal was completed in March 2021, the first time the league had received a fee for TV rights. 

The National Women’s Soccer League in the United States last week announced a new £30m-a-year domestic TV deal with CBS, ESPN and Amazon, a 40-times increase on the value of the existing contract.

TNT declined to comment.

The channel has made it a priority to promote female talent, including Europa League host Jules Breach

The channel has made it a priority to promote female talent, including Europa League host Jules Breach

A rising interest in the Lionesses is set to increase the value of the deal when the auction starts

A rising interest in the Lionesses is set to increase the value of the deal when the auction starts

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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