One of the things I’ve harped on as a Women’s team fan that is frustrated with... well, everything Women’s football, has been increased exposure. There is no reason that the women’s game shouldn’t be broadcast and marketed at the same level as the men’s, across all leagues.
Liverpool, to their credit, have done better about streaming matches as much as possible in the past season or so (since Susan Black joined as the executive director, honestly) and their performances this season as they battle the rest of the Championship League for that one prime promotion place that they missed out on last season.
Today’s news from CBS Sports makes that promotion spot all the more important.
CBS Sports announced on Monday that they’ve acquired the rights to the FA Women’s Super League, the league above Championship and the one the Reds and others are working to be promoted to.
The exposure would be a (hopefully) huge step forward for the Women’s league, as they will be showing matches across CBS networks in the United States and on their streaming platform, Paramount+, beginning next season.
“The Barclays FA Women’s Super League features some of the most recognizable soccer brands in the world, and is an excellent addition to CBS Sports’ premium soccer portfolio,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. “We look forward to bringing the exciting action of the BFAWSL to fans across Paramount+ and CBS Sports Network. With our wide array of soccer properties and robust year-round match coverage, we are a must-have for soccer fans.”
CBS has already started to position themselves as that go to place, holding the rights to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, NWSL, and the Women’s Cup, as well as a host of other leagues and tournaments. And the with the dissolution of NBCSports on the horizon, they are likely to snap up the Premier League rights as well (that’s pure speculation on this writer’s part, though).
So, the stakes have just gotten a little higher for Liverpool Women. If they can close the gap and overtake Durham as the leaders of the Championship league, and maintain that spot, they’ll rejoin the Super League, and be accessible to a whole new world of Women’s team supporters. Liverpool, really, have the backing of their brand behind them so the real beneficiaries of this exposure would be a team like Durham or Charlton - clubs without the worldwide branding exposure that Liverpool, Crystal Palace, even Sheffield United have.
Of course, with the higher stakes means that now this promotion battle just got harder as every other team will likely up their efforts.