Women's football: Euro 2021 to be shown live on BBC as broadcasters secure rights

The Women’s European Championships 2021 will be broadcast on free-to-air television following the success of the World Cup this year.

The BBC has announced it has secured exclusive rights to the European football tournament after a record audience tuned in to watch France’s World Cup.

England’s Lionesses reached the semi-finals of that tournament, ultimately losing 2-1 to eventual winners USA, while 11.7million tuned in to make it the most-viewed broadcast of 2019.

On the whole, the tournament reached more than 28.1 million people on TV, eclipsing the 12.4m record set in 2015.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said the increased audiences are showing progress in a bid to ‘shift the dial’ on women’s football.

Ellen White (Birmingham City WFC) of England celebrates after scoring her sides first goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France 3rd Place Match match between England and Sweden at Stade de Nice on July 6, 2019 in Nice, France. (Photo by Jose Breton/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Ellen White led from the front as England's Lionesses enthralled the nation en-route to the World Cup semi-finals (Photo by Jose Breton/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The Women's European Championships in 2021 will be shown live on BBC
The Women's European Championships in 2021 will be shown live on BBC

She said: “After the success of the World Cup on the BBC and the record-breaking viewing figures for women’s football, we’re delighted to be the broadcaster of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Championship.

“At the start of this summer we wanted to shift the dial on women’s football and I feel the phenomenal coverage from France has done just that.

“The BBC’s sport portfolio continues to go from strength to strength and we’re thrilled to add the 2021 Euros to that.”

On a domestic level, women’s football has been boosted by a £10million sponsorship deal with Barclays, while early discussions have taken place over the Premier League taking over the Women’s Super League.

In an additional lift to the game, men’s stadiums will host select matches this season - with the FA also set to trial back-to-back headers of both women’s and men’s football.

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