Optus Sport lands rights for 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Optus Sport has been named the main broadcast partner for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand for the first time.

All 64 games will be live and on demand on Optus Sport, with the football-oriented streaming service having previously broadcast the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Optus’ director of sport, Richard Bayliss, fronted the announcement on Optus Sport this morning and revealed there will be a free-to-air element as well, with Optus Sport to sub-license national team, the Matildas, matches to a free-to-air broadcaster, as per the Federal Government’s anti-siphoning list, which has been extended for another two years.

Mumbrella reached out to Football Australia and Optus Sport regarding the as-yet-unannounced free-to-air broadcast partner, but they declined to comment.

While Optus and Football Australia are yet to lock-in and announce which network these games will land on, the matches will have a home-grown focus, with Bayliss revealing that Matildas games will be broadcast, as well as the finals. He added that there will be one free-to-air game on every single day of the tournament.

“The tournament promises to be a seminal moment for women’s football, as well as football in Australia,” Bayliss said. “This event will leave a legacy and we are super proud to be a part of it.”

The Women’s World Cup begins at Eden Park on Auckland on 20 July, and will conclude with the final at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

In a statement, Optus chief executive, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, said: “We are delighted to not only support the most exciting women’s sporting event in the world, hosted right here on our home soil, but also to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to growing women’s sport in this country.”  

“This is truly a unique opportunity for Australians to stand behind our world-leading Matildas and enjoy every action-packed moment of the tournament.

“We are passionate about bringing the Matildas and the other 31 participating teams to as many Australians as possible.”  

In the lead-up to the World Cup, Optus Sport will also broadcast the Women’s Euros, as well as the Women’s Super League (WSL), England’s premier women’s football competition.

During the live announcement, Matildas and Arsenal goalkeeper Lydia Williams said: “It’s amazing. It’s a great paving stone for future Matildas,” said Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams.

Fellow Matilda and Arsenal player, Steph Catley, said: “Optus Sport are always at our [WSL] games. It’s amazing, they do great coverage and are a massive supporter of women’s football.”

“When I was growing up I couldn’t watch women’s football on TV. Someone like Optus showing matches all the time is massive for young girls in Australia.”

Optus Sport is available for free as part of most Optus mobile, internet, 5G home and data SIM plans, and costs $14.99 to non-Optus customers. It is also currently available as a yearly subscription for $99.

Optus vice president TV, content and product development, Clive Dickens, said women’s football is a core element of Optus Sport’s elite football offering.

“We have built an unparalleled pedigree in enhancing and supporting women’s football and building unique customer relationships with football fans, from the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France to being amongst the first broadcasters of the Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League, to recently securing the exclusive rights to the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 in England.”  

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 represents a huge opportunity to help drive growth and visibility of women’s football in Australia and deliver football fans the best-ever coverage. 

“We are committed to changing the future children see and the importance of promoting women in sport to drive that change. It is a privilege, and an endorsement of our credentials by FIFA, to be awarded the rights to showcase this monumental event.

FIFA chief women’s football officer, Sarai Bareman, added: “FIFA is excited to welcome Optus Sport as our official broadcaster of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 for Australia. Optus has shown a strong commitment to broadcasting women’s football and this deal will provide unprecedented coverage in Australia for the tournament, as well as bringing women’s football to more fans and new audiences.

“We look forward to working with Optus to promote the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 to accelerate the growth of the women’s game in Australia in the lead up to 2023.” 

Optus is also set to broadcast the UEFA Euros and Copa America men’s football tournaments in the coming weeks.

In March, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher , said that the government will review the anti-siphoning list over the next two years as part of its reforms to support broadcasters and enhance the quality of services and content available to all Australians.

The government is currently consulting on the next stage of its media reform program, and stakeholders are encouraged to comment on the media reform green paper by 23 May 2021.


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