Explained: Why the Women's Champions League will no longer be free to watch next season
- UWCL will be put behind a paywall
- 42 of the 61 games will be behind a paywall
- The final will be free-to-air
WHAT HAPPENED? The Women's Champions League has been free-to-air since DAZN, the official broadcaster, chalked out a deal with YouTube after picking up the rights from the 2021-22 season. The viewing figures were pretty impressive as they stood at 64 million from more than 230 countries and territories, which has encouraged DAZN to move its coverage behind a paywall.
Forty-two of the 61 games in the competition’s group and knockout stage will be broadcasted via its subscription service, which costs £9.99/month. However, the remaining 19 matches, including the final, one semi-final and two of the quarter-finals, will remain free to access through YouTube.
WHAT THEY SAID: “The UWCL as well as our other women’s football properties, are high quality, have audience and command value,” Veronica Diquattro, DAZN’s global markets CEO, said.
“We expected to see significant growth in viewership — when you combine DAZN’s production values with YouTube’s reach and Uefa’s high level of competition it’s a winning formula. We and Uefa feel the time is right for the competition to start finding its true commercial value. Visibility must lead to viability.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: DAZN attempted to make the competition free to watch for the first two seasons to build the viewership for the Women's Champions League. According to research by Crux Sports, 65 per cent of the viewers consuming women's football were 18-34-year-olds, and 83 per cent of them were male.
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WHAT NEXT? The qualification rounds remain beyond DAZN's scope, meaning the matches of Manchester United and Arsenal will most likely be shown on the club channels.