Media Rights Deals and the Future of Women’s Sports

'Not an Isolated Moment,' Says NWSL Commissioner Berman

The new domestic broadcast rights deals reached by the National Women’s Soccer League will be “bigger and better than anyone can imagine,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman.
“I’ll quote one of our future media partners — who I  won’t name because we’re still finalizing terms — but this person said, ‘These deals will be the beginning of your future,’ and it gives me chills to even say that,” said Berman, speaking at Sports Business Journal’s Game Changers conference in New York Oct. 24. Representing Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech, which is powered by Boomtown, were Jenna Kurath, head of the program, and Bradi Owens, marketing director.
The league is said to have secured media rights agreements with CBS, ESPN, Amazon, and Scripps. Exact terms have not been disclosed, but the total amount is thought to be “significantly higher” than the $1.5 billion the incumbent CBS pays currently.
The agreements will redefine the value proposition of women’s sports in general and the NWSL specifically, Berman said.
“It’s really showing the world that this isn’t an isolated moment of success” for the NWSL, which has been growing in popularity and revenue, she said. More fans being able to watch more games “is going to change the future of our league,” she said.
Tripp Baltz
Head of Research