BBC to broadcast coverage of women's football world cup in 2019
The BBC has won the right to broadcast the women’s football world cup in two years’ time.
Announcing the acquisition on International Women’s Day, the BBC said there will be “extensive coverage” of every game of France 2019 across TV, radio and online.
The BBC’s TV coverage of the 2015 tournament in Canada, which saw England reach the semi-finals, reached more than 12m people.
England’s game against Japan reached a peak TV audience of 2.4m despite kicking off at midnight UK time.
Securing the rights to the 2019 tournament adds to the BBC’s line-up of women’s football.
BBC Two is already set to show highlights of both the Women’s Super League (WSL) Spring Series from April and the WSL season from September.
The BBC will also be showing the Women’s FA Cup Final live each year until at least 2021 and selected World Cup qualifiers later this year.
Director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater said: “We’re delighted that the BBC will bring the biggest tournament in women’s football to the widest possible audience.
“Women’s football has grown significantly over the last few years and we are proud of the contribution we have made. France 2019 promises to be another fantastic showcase for the sport.”
FIFA’s Secretary General Fatma Samoura said: “The seventh edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 reached record-breaking numbers of TV viewers and social media clicks, underlining global interest in the world’s biggest single-sport event for women.
“As excitement grows around the eighth edition of the competition, we are delighted to work with the BBC to broadcast the ultimate event in women’s football to even greater audiences in the UK via the BBC’s TV, radio and digital platforms.”
BT Sport currently has the rights to show live WSL matches and England’s home friendlies.
The broadcaster today announced it was paying £1.18bn to retain the exclusive rights to Champions League and Europa League football.
The deal with UEFA includes highlights as well as live games so there will no longer be weekly highlights shown free-to-air on ITV.
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