Sports streaming service DAZN has been awarded the global broadcast rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League and host broadcaster status for the next four seasons, marking the first time UEFA has centralised all rights to the tournament globally.
Under the terms of the ‘landmark agreement’, running from 2021 until 2025, DAZN has also entered into a partnership with YouTube that will make the competition live and free for fans around the world for the first time.
According to the two entities, the agreement is ‘one of the largest broadcast deals in women’s club football history’.
James Rushton, Co-CEO, DAZN Group, explained: “DAZN is thrilled to be the new global broadcaster for UEFA Women’s Champions League and cannot wait to work with YouTube and Google to bring fans closer to the game and shine a brighter light on its stars than ever before. DAZN was founded with a vision of making premium sports more accessible, and what’s more accessible than centralised rights for the first time and all matches free on YouTube?
“Overnight, this will make the best women’s football easier to watch around the world than ever before. Along the way, we look forward to elevating live broadcast production, extending existing DAZN content franchises, and unveiling new shows that showcase the breadth and brilliance of women’s football.”
Earlier in the year, a new format was unveiled for the UEFA club competition, with the Women’s Champions League set to take on a 16-team group stage. The restructuring will see the top two teams from each group progress to the eight-team knockout fixtures from next season.
In addition, a key part of the reforms was the centralisation of commercial and media rights from the group stages onwards.
For the first two seasons of the agreement, fans will be able to watch live and on demand all 61 matches from the group stage onwards on DAZN and free on DAZN’s YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, for the last two seasons, all 61 matches will be live on DAZN while 19 matches will be made available for free on DAZN’s YouTube channel.
“This deal is a first for women’s football as this partnership between UEFA and DAZN and YouTube will make sure that the UEFA Women’s Champions League can be seen by the fans, by all the people who love this game, wherever they are on the globe,” added Nadine Kessler, Chief of Women’s Football, UEFA.
“Such visibility changes everything, as the best female players and best women’s teams in the world can inspire more young girls and boys to fall in love with this sport. Together we are all bringing women’s football to the world and everyone who will tune in will truly make a difference to something bigger.”
The multi-year deal grants DAZN exclusive rights worldwide, with the exception of the Middle East and North Africa – where rights do include clips and highlights – and China and its territories.
Cécile Frot-Coutaz, Head of EMEA, YouTube, said: “YouTube is the global go-to destination for premium, diverse and relevant content. The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty for sport but particularly for women’s sport.
“We are therefore honoured to be able to partner with DAZN and UEFA to bring the UWCL games to fans all over the world, live and for free on YouTube. We are excited to be able to bring the power of YT’s platform to the UEFA Women’s Champions League and help women’s football connect with new and existing fans the world over.”
Commemorating the ‘ground-breaking’ tie-up, DAZN released a new campaign entitled ‘We ALL Rise With More Eyes’ – the debut content on its new UEFA Women’s Champions League YouTube channel.
Directed by Alyssa Boni and voiced over by UK rapper FLOHIO, the short film conveys DAZN’s vision for the future of the women’s competition.