The new record-breaking Women’s Super League TV deal, which will see the BBC and Sky Sports broadcast games as of next season, has been praised by Everton’s Simone Magill.
Magill, who was the first Northern Irish woman to put pen to paper on a full-time contract in the league, recently spoke to the BBC about the effects the deal will have on women’s football. She said:
“The game’s been growing year on year, but this is by far and away one of the biggest things that has happened.
“I think that’s key in growing the game and getting young girls involved. They can sit at home, turn on the TV and say, ‘look, there’s girls playing football professionally, that’s what I want to do’.”
The 26-year-old added how she hopes being able to watch matches on the two channels will give the WSL more viewers:
“It’s always been such a shame that domestic leagues were not made as readily available for people to watch following a big step-up of interest in women’s football during the 2015 and 2019 World Cup tournaments,” she expressed.
“Now this is going to change, so hopefully the game is just going to explode and we can keep building and building on it and get it to a really top level.”
Simone also emphasised that though it’s great for women’s football to be on TV more frequently, there is potential for more negative comments as a result.
“We’re all excited that we’re going to be on this stage week in, week out for everybody to watch,” she said.
“We recognise that with that will come a lot of the sort of scrutiny and criticism that happens in the men’s game, but that’s something that the women’s game has never really had.”
Magill reiterated her praise for the three-year-deal though, saying:
“It’s putting our game on the stage where we want it to be, so I just think it’s really exciting. Everybody’s going to want to be on top of their game.
“The league is probably one of the best leagues in the world and I think coming off the back end of securing deals like this, it’s only going to take it that step further.”
The BBC have said there will be 22 live matches aired on their channel, with a minimum of 18 on BBC One or Two.
The WSL is currently the only full-time league in Europe, but the Spanish top flight is planning to be the second next year.