Does Women’s Football belong on Domestic TV?

Photo: Toju Bello

Since the 2019 Fifa World Cup there has been plenty of support and enthusiasm surrounding women’s football in the UK and this has led to some major developments in the women’s game.

However, there has been uproar from opposition fans about the profile of Women’s Football in England which has led to labels such as “PR Stunt and Making a joke of the game”

As of 03/07/23, there has been enquiries being undertaken about WSL taking place on English TV during “The 3 pm Blackout” which raises the question does Women’s Football belong on UK Television?

Plenty of other countries already televise their Women’s Football including the United States and France. The money generated from these TV deals in France has massively helped not just the current clubs but has funded over 100 workshops at amateur level for girls interested in Football.

In the US only 80% of NWSL clubs are professional and these clubs do have a squad made up of at least 95% of professional players however both Women and Men are on Equal Pay scales within Football. This means players in the NWSL can afford to become professional because of the funding their clubs receive through TV broadcasting rights and because of this they still remain the only country to pay Men and Women the same.

Photo: Toju Bello

Baroness Sue Campbell, FA’s director of Women’s Football, had said the reason behind these discussions is that the randomness in scheduling is destroying the future of Women’s Football at a competitive level and should not be seen as an alternative or substitute for Men’s Football.

Plenty of WSL Teams and former players agree that Women’s football does deserve more exposure, especially considering the viewing figures of last season’s Women’s European Championships.

Chelsea Women’s Manager Emma Hayes and Former England Ellen White are not so sure this is the direction that the Women’s game should be heading in as this would then open the WSL up as a marketing tool for broadcasters who could be looking to use the Women’s game as a cheap alternative to bidding almost 3 times as much for Men’s football.

Photo: Chris Foxwell

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be shown across the UK after long in-depth discussions with FIFA about the bids received from broadcasters being insultingly low and insulting towards the tournament this shows that FIFA as a federation are starting to take the women’s game more seriously and if UK Broadcasters want the rights to Women’s games they need to be following the same attitude.

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