Television broadcaster Sky New Zealand has obtained the media rights for the ultimate showdown in women’s football, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
As part of the agreement, Sky NZ will air all the 64 matches at the tournament on its channels and streaming platforms. Along with live matches, it will also provide highlights and other digital content related to the teams and players participating in the World Cup. All of New Zealand’s matches and one match per day will be freely available for the viewers.
Sky NZ already has a deal in place with FIFA for the 2015-22 cycle, covering all major FIFA events within this duration. Thus the last two Women’s World Cups in 2015 and 2019 were also broadcasted by Sky NZ. The island nation of New Zealand will host around half of the total 64 matches in the tournament.
Prior to this deal, FIFA had already announced its media coverage deal for part of the tournament to be held in Australia. It secured the services of telco Optus for broadcasting the games in Australia. Earlier FIFA had released a tender for TV rights in the two host countries in April. The first-round bids were expected in May.
Sky NZ’s CEO Sophie Moloney said the deal was part of her company’s wider support for women’s sport, “We are committed to supporting the growth and development of the women’s game alongside our support for women in sport across dozens of other codes, athletes, teams and communities throughout Aotearoa. We look forward to working with Football NZ, Sport NZ and organisations such as WISPA to ensure that the Fifa Women’s World Cup leaves a lasting legacy for football and women’s sport in New Zealand.”
Other than Australia and New Zealand, FIFA has also struck broadcasting deals in the Nordics and Poland. The Nordic Entertainment Group has been given the license to broadcast FIFA’s showcase event in 2023. Contrary to previous occasions, FIFA decided to sell rights for the 2023 tournament on a standalone basis in certain markets. This comes as part of a broader effort to develop the standalone value of commercial rights for its women’s competitions.
Speaking on this deal, Sarai Bareman, Chief Women’s Football Officer at FIFA, said, “Sky has shown a strong track record of broadcasting women’s football in New Zealand and this deal will provide unprecedented coverage of the tournament, as well as bringing women’s football to more fans and new audiences.”