UEFA has announced it will centralise all broadcast rights for the Women’s Champions League from the group stage onwards, in a move set to increase visibility of the entire competition.
Previously, only the final of the Women’s Champions League has been marketed centrally by UEFA, leaving each club responsible for the sales of rights to their home games in earlier rounds.
Starting in 2021/22, the change will mean UEFA will sell the rights to a 16-team group stage competition, producing every fixture for television or online streaming.
UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, said the changes add to UEFA’s efforts in doubling the reach and value of the Women’s Champions League and Women’s European Championship national team tournament as part of their first dedicated women’s soccer strategy, #TimeForAction.
“Today’s decision is a game-changer for women’s football,” Ceferin said.
“The world’s best women’s club competition will get both the platform and visibility it deserves.
“When we launched our ground-breaking women’s football strategy #TimeForAction earlier this year, we promised to take concrete steps to ensure a more professional and prosperous women’s game.
“By guaranteeing teams more matches against their elite rivals, we believe that the group structure will raise the quality of the women’s game even more,” he said.
The change will bring the Women’s Champions League more in line with the men’s equivalent, including a 20 per cent increase in the number of matches, changing from a 16-team knockout tournament, to a 16-team group stage competition.
Under the new competition format, there will be four groups of four teams who will play each other home and away over six days of competition, with the top two teams from each group progressing to quarterfinals.
Despite the change to centralised broadcast rights, sponsorship rights for UEFA’s women’s soccer partners will remain partially centralised from the group stage onwards.