The Women’s World Cup returns on the 20th July, and The BBC and ITV finally have the broadcasting rights to show all of the matches on terrestrial television.
The Women’s World Cup this Summer is taking place across Australia and New Zealand, meaning that most Brits will be unable to watch it live in person. There has been a high demand to have most of the games broadcasted on terrestrial television in the UK, however that has not been possible until a few days ago.
Back in May, the Head of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, threatened to not show this year's Women’s World Cup in five European countries; The UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. This was due to a dispute over money, and how much profit would be made by broadcasting the tournament. A European television blackout was threatened by Infantino, if television right offers were not improved.
A deal with FIFA has been made and all 64 matches in this Women's World Cup will be broadcasted live on terrestrial TV in the UK. It has been decided that The BBC and ITV will share the broadcasting of matches. This is including England's Group D openers against Haiti, Denmark and China. However, the final on the 20th August, which will be broadcasted on both BBC One and ITV1. Furthermore, there will also be live audio commentary of the tournament on BBC 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra.
Barbara Slater is the director of BBC Sport. She has stated, "We have shown every Women's World Cup on the BBC since 1999 and we are happy to extend our partnership with FIFA for the upcoming tournament". She continues by saying, "The growth of the women's game is extraordinary, demonstrated by the 28 million who watched BBC coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup and the huge audience of 17.4 million who watched our coverage of the Euro 2022 final last summer on TV.”
Slater is very happy to be in partnership with ITV to make this World Cup available to the widest possible audience and free to air.
There was such a high demand this year for the Women’s World cup to be broadcasted on British terrestrial television this Summer, This could be due to the Lionesses Euro 2022 victory, which helped increase the popularity and demand for Women’s football. 8 million people watched the Women's Euros but didn't watch the men's FIFA World Cup. The final at Wembley, in July 2022 broke the men’s and women’s Euro attendance record, acclimating a crowd of 87,192 people. In addition, the final also garnered a peak TV audience of 17.4m on the BBC, with 365 million watching across the globe. This figure is more than double the previous tournament.
The Lionesses are in Group D for this summer’s World Cup. To progress to the knockout stages of the World Cup, they will have to get past Haiti, Denmark and China first. Their first game is against Haiti on the 22nd of July which will be broadcasted on UK terrestrial television.
Hopefully they can perform as well as they did in the Euros, in this Summer's World Cup, but will they be World Champions? We will have to wait and see.