CBS Sports has nabbed another set of soccer rights for Paramount+, which continues to be a cornerstone streaming platform for soccer fans.
On Monday, the company announced a deal with the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, which is the English top flight for women’s soccer.
The agreement begins next year and runs through 2024 (covering two seasons), and will bring 57 matches to Paramount+ and CBS Sports Network in each of the two seasons of the deal.
Here are some quotes from the release.
“The Barclays FA Women’s Super League features some of the most recognizable soccer brands in the world, and is an excellent addition to CBS Sports’ premium soccer portfolio,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. “We look forward to bringing the exciting action of the BFAWSL to fans across Paramount+ and CBS Sports Network. With our wide array of soccer properties and robust year-round match coverage, we are a must-have for soccer fans.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with CBS Sports for the next two seasons and are looking forward to the coverage they beam to households across the United States,” said James Ralley, the Football Association’s head of broadcast and media rights. “Their delivery of soccer, whether men’s or women’s, is of the highest quality, and their reputation within the industry is one that is growing rapidly. We look forward to working with them over the next few years.”
This is somewhat similar to the WSL’s agreement with NBC Sports, with roughly half of the league’s schedule available (the 12-team WSL has a 132 match, 22 matchweek season), and most of those matches streaming. The amount of matches available also lines up with the WSL’s domestic deal, which has 66 matches available on Sky and BBC networks.
Not only does this bolster Paramount+’s library of live soccer, it also cements their commitment to women’s soccer. The NWSL inked a deal with CBS in 2020, and it’s been a cornerstone part of their soccer offerings over the last year and a half. Plenty of USWNT stars (along with scores of stars from other countries) play in both leagues, and it’ll be much easier for fans to watch week in and week out instead of helicoptering in for international qualifiers, friendlies, or tournaments.
Will this be the first step for CBS into the English soccer market? The company is one of (many) reportedly interested in the Premier League’s rights, with bids due today. Winning any Premier League package, either the full rights or part of a split package, would be a massive get for CBS Sports and would solidify the company’s commitment to broadcasting soccer in the US going forward. I don’t think the FA WSL agreement will impact CBS’s attempts at nabbing the Premier League either way, but it can’t hurt.