UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, has struck a deal with global sports streamer DAZN to be the official broadcaster of the Women’s Champions League soccer tournament for the next five years.
And in a bid to bolster women’s soccer, UEFA and DAZN have partnered with YouTube to make the competition available for free, as it happens, around the world.
The deal, one of the largest broadcast deals in the history of women’s soccer — and which marks the first time UEFA has centralized Women’s Champions League matches globally — runs from 2021-2025. It grants DAZN exclusive worldwide rights with the exception of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and China and its territories. (In MENA, DAZN will have rights to clips and highlights.)
Both UEFA and DAZN hope the move — particularly with the aid of YouTube’s free-to-watch model — will bolster women’s soccer, which has traditionally lagged far behind men’s in terms of salaries, publicity and merchandise.
The first two seasons, from 2021-2023, which encompass 61 matches from the group stage onwards, will be available live and on demand on DAZN’s subscription service platform and its free YouTube channel.
For the last two seasons, spanning from 2023-2025, all 61 matches will be available live on DAZN and 19 matches will be available for free on its YouTube channel
“DAZN is thrilled to be the new global broadcaster for UEFA Women’s Champions League and cannot wait to work with YouTube and Google to bring fans closer to the game and shine a brighter light on its stars than ever before,” said DAZN Group CEO James Rushton.
“DAZN was founded with a vision of making premium sports more accessible, and what’s more accessible than centralised rights for the first time and all matches free on YouTube? Overnight, this will make the best women’s football easier to watch around the world than ever before. Along the way, we look forward to elevating live broadcast production, extending existing DAZN content franchises, and unveiling new shows that showcase the breadth and brilliance of women’s football.”
UEFA’s chief of women’s soccer, Nadine Kessler, added: “This deal is a first for women’s football as this partnership between UEFA and DAZN and YouTube will make sure that the UEFA Women’s Champions League can be seen by the fans, by all the people who love this game, wherever they are on the globe. Such visibility changes everything, as the best female players and best women’s teams in the world can inspire more young girls and boys to fall in love with this sport. Together we are all bringing women’s football to the world and everyone who will tune in will truly make a difference to something bigger.”
As part of their efforts to promote women’s soccer, DAZD have launched both a new, dedicated UEFA Women’s Champions League YouTube channel and a short campaign film, titled “We ALL Rise With More Eyes” (see below) which charts the importance of viewers in the growth of women’s soccer.