Uefa, football’s European governing body, has today (Monday) started the sales process for centralised broadcast rights to the Uefa Women’s Champions League from 2021-22 to 2024-25.
Having last year opted to centralise the rights from the group stage onwards, Uefa has now issued a request for proposals for the platform-neutral rights.
Respondents have been handed a deadline of 5pm (CET) on October 14 by which to submit their offers for rights in an individual territory, region or on a global basis (excluding China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan).
Currently, only the broadcast rights to the final are centrally marketed by Uefa, with the clubs responsible for the sale of rights to their home leg in all earlier knockout rounds.
However, under the new approach, Uefa is marketing the media rights from the new 16-team group stage onwards, with the governing body ensuring the broadcast production of of every match for television and digital platforms.
The centralised rounds of the competition will consist of a total of 61 matches per season. Ten out of the 11 match days will have their own exclusive slot in the match calendar.
There will be four groups of four with teams playing each other home and away and the top two sides in each group qualifying for the quarter-finals. Home and away legs will be contested for the quarter-final and semi-final rounds ahead of a one-legged final.
Sponsorship rights will be partially centralised for Uefa women’s football sponsors from the group stage onwards. Sponsorship rights to the women’s Champions League final were previously bundled with the (centralised) rights to the men Champions League.
The move forms part of Uefa’s increasing efforts to generate more commercial value from the women’s game and establish standalone sponsors for the women’s tournaments. In 2018, the Nyon-based body appointed TRM Partners, the UK-based sponsorship agency, to sell sponsorship rights to the women’s competitions and after separating the rights from the men’s competitions.
Nadine Kessler, Uefa’s chief of women’s football, said: “This is a fantastic time to be involved in women’s football – a game that is growing at a phenomenal pace.
“Over the last few years we have seen some ground-breaking decisions taken, such as the unbundling on sponsorship rights from the men’s game, which has seen the likes of Visa, Nike, Esprit, Hublot and Pepsi commit to becoming proud partners.
“Now for the first time we are seeing a new centralised format of the Uefa Women’s Champions League, a step that will lead to increased professional structures as well as giving more and more fans from across the world the opportunity to share in the excitement of the competition and watch the best teams and players in action.”
Guy-Laurent Epstein, director of marketing at Uefa Events, remarked: “ The Uefa Women’s Champions League is the pinnacle of women’s club football in Europe and has developed significantly in the recent years.
“We are delighted to support the further growth of the competition by bringing this fully-centralised format to the market. At a time of unparalleled development for women’s football globally, this is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the further promotion, coverage and engagement with this prestigious competition, helping drive the development of the elite women’s game.”
Companies interested in acquiring the RFP have been asked to email Uefa (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last month’s Uefa Women’s Champions League final between Lyon and Wolfsburg attracted record viewing figures in both France and Germany.