Football fans around the world will be able to watch the UEFA Women’s Champions League for free for the next two seasons, without having to subscribe to a paid sports channel in their country, as is the case today in most football matches by Worldwide. All matches from the competition from 2021 to 1023 will be broadcast on YouTube.
The agreement was made between UEFA and the DAZN sport streaming service which purchased the broadcast rights to the entire Women’s Football League (UWCL) competition for the next four years, which also involved YouTube.
With the exception of the Middle East, North Africa and China (and their territories), football fans around the world can watch all 61 matches (not including qualifying rounds) live on the DAZN YouTube channel during the next two seasons.
For the next two seasons (2023-24 and 2024-25), DAZN will broadcast all matches live on its own platform, which is now available in over 200 countries. At that time, it will be possible to watch 19 games per season on YouTube.
The broadcast deal will kick in midway through a new format for the UWCL. UEFA is launching a 16-game group stage this season, similar to the men’s Champions League format. Previously, it was a two-handed knockout competition, with a single final. The group stage of the 2021-22 edition starts on October 5th.
This is a great chance for football enthusiasts in most parts of the world to be able to see some of the best players on the planet in action without having to pay a penny more (provided they have a decent Internet connection and a device to watch YouTube) . The deal should give the UWCL more exposure than in the past and perhaps inspire more children to play the sport, with the sum of around €24m helping the development of women’s football.
Streaming services have been fighting for football rights for years, against the large groups that are already in the market, and streaming services are still rarely able to “overtake” traditional competitors. In fact, the most recent and also the most important so far had been achieved by Amazon on the acquisition of some television rights to French football for the next season.