In a shocking development, the FA and FAWSL have done something truly cool and helpful for the Women’s game. They announced the upcoming launch of their streaming service FAPlayer, that will stream nearly all FAWSL Women’s matches, around the world. And best of all for fans wanting to follow Liverpool FC Women, it’s all going to be free.
That’s right. 132 live matches will be streamed, including every Liverpool FC Women’s match. Manchester Derbies (with all those former players of ours), Merseyside Derbies (see leading goal scorer Courtney Sweetman-Kirk fight off her former club!), the lot.
I know, it sounds too good to be true. At first all I saw was the BBC article with the announcement, and that is disappointingly vague. No mention of costs, geo-locking, or anything that makes this streaming service so exciting. I was skeptical—after all, most things that seem good in the world of Women’s soccer rarely are (looking at you in particular, Liverpool).
Thankfully, the women at the RedmenTV Women’s Podcast helped answer some of the questions I had (how much would it cost? Can I watch from the United States?) and suffice to say, it’s all still pretty exciting.
All YOU need to know about the new @BarclaysFAWSL player (launching September 2nd!)— RMTV Womens Podcast (@RMTVWomensPod) August 6, 2019
Live Matches (132 WSL Matches screened)
Showing 1 championship game a week
Latest on all #Lionesses info
Show all highlights, goals etc from the WSL each week!
The official FA Player website confirms all of this information, while clarifying which matches will be shown. Yes, most of them—except the ones that are being shown live on BT Sport in the UK, those will be available with audio only.
This is a huge step towards growing the women’s league internationally and is honestly a great way to capitalize on the popularity from the Women’s World Cup. Many of the Lionesses are in the FA WSL and if there was a particular player you liked from their team, you can now continue to follow her for free in her domestic league. If you are a fan of a men’s club in the Premier League or the Championship, you can follow their corresponding women’s club (looking at you, Liverpool fans).
Are there still downsides? Maybe. I mean, a part of me wishes this were being made available for a small fee that went back to the clubs themselves. And it wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve mentioned that actually spending money on the women’s clubs is the best way to support them. In this case, though, I do believe that the good of the added exposure far outweighs any bad, and I’m choosing to lean into this news. If enough people download the app and watch the games, it’ll help support the clubs and the league, letting them know there is more support out there than those who can or can’t attend the games.
For once, something actually helpful is happening in the world of women’s soccer and we should embrace it and support it. Get ready to truly support your Red Women, because now is our chance.