DAZN has spent years trying to become something like the Netflix of sports, and after taking over the broadcast rights in Spain for F1, MotoGP and even LaLiga, it also opted to keep the women’s professional soccer league exclusively for five seasons. .
A few months after that announcement, DAZN has translated that bet into a specific variant of its offer, the DAZN Victoria plan, which includes all the matches of the Finetwork Liga F and the UEFA Women’s Champions League for 9.99 euros per month. The Queen’s Cup is left out, but it is another step towards the professionalization of a football that has been booming in Spain for years.
From combining it with another job to the Ballon d’Or made in Spain
Women’s football has grown remarkably in recent years, but starting from a base in which it was not even professionalized. Purchases of television broadcasting rights give an idea of the enormous differences that continue to exist between the men’s and women’s leagues in Spain. Although until not so long ago women’s football was not even broadcast
DAZN paid 35 million euros for five seasons of the Finetwork Liga F. That’s 1,200 games. At just over 29,000 euros per game. Telefónica and DAZN paid 4,950 million for the same five seasons of LaLiga Santander. That is, 1,900 games. At 2.6 million euros per game. Each game in the men’s league is worth 89 times more than one in the women’s league.
However, the evolution is remarkably bullish for the feminine at all levels. In 2013 there were 40,000 federation licenses for women’s soccer in Spain, compared to 856,000 for men’s soccer. By 2020, the number of women had almost doubled to 77,000. The masculine came to exceed a million.
This means that If in 2015 there was one female license for every 22 male, by 2020 the distance had been cut to one for every 13. The distances are still enormous to think that the figures will be equal, but a huge jump can be seen, especially from 2017.
What has happened in these years to have produced this leap? David Menayo She is a journalist for Marca specialized in women’s football, in addition to having written the book ‘Women’s football in twenty touches’. According to him, several milestones have marked this journey. “I start from the fact that Spain is a result-based country, so it is essential to talk about the Champions League won by Barcelona, the two Ballon d’Ors won by Alexia Putellas or the progress of the Spanish team, which has gone from appearing in major tournaments to be a candidate to conquer them (this being possible)”.
Ten years ago there was one federated player for every 22 players. Today it is one for every 13
It also mentions the professionalization that has increased both the responsibilities and the demandsand a feminist wave that has also contributed to these figures.
This professionalization is what has allowed the greatest leap, especially at the level of elite clubs. Until recently, it was very common for First Division players to earn a symbolic salary that forced them to combine their sporting activity with a job, something that takes time and energy away from fully dedicating themselves to football, something that has an impact on their quality… and accentuates differences against clubs or federations where this leap has not yet occurred.
The CSD declared the professionalization of the Women’s First Division a year and a half ago, when the differences between the conditions of players from different clubs in the same league were abysmal.
Barça is the great leader of this stage. They have won the last three leagues. The last one, with plenty of victories, 159 goals for and 11 against. The bet that began to make years ago for women’s football has resulted in an abysmal difference with the rest of the clubs and a relevant role for the first time in the Champions League.
The First Division of Women’s Soccer has spent two decades hosting teams from small and medium-sized cities, or neighborhoods; to be a fairly faithful mirror of the members of LaLiga Santander
Although they have not yet reached that level, other teams are also showing their commitment. Real Madrid was one of the last Primera clubs to disembark, but they finished last season in third position, much better than at the beginning of the season. Real Sociedad, Athletic de Bilbao, Atlético de Madrid, Levante or Granadilla Tenerife are other clubs that usually occupy the noble zone of the table each season finale.
on that list Some teams that were important in previous stages of women’s football no longer appear, but they have lost much relevance. Case, to give examples, of Rayo Vallecano or Espanyol. Between them they have four league titles. Neither of them is currently in the First Division.
This evolution also explains how the golden division of women’s football has gone in a few decades from hosting neighborhood clubs, from small and medium-sized cities or from large capitals but on the margins of elite men’s clubs, to being an increasingly mirror faithful of the men’s professional competition. In this table we can see the nine clubs that led the competition in different seasons.
This trend has left other moments that have gone from happy anecdotes to recurring events: that of women’s clubs filling First Division stadiums, with attendances of up to 91,000 spectators. Something unthinkable a few years ago, when attendance was not used to going beyond family and friends, according to some players have acknowledged on more than one occasion. These assists in the Spanish league, World Cups and Euro Cups have become a habit. Not a majority in any type of party, but something common.
This progress is a whiting that bites its tail, or a virtuous circle: The increased attention that women’s football receives attracts new sponsors, who in turn, with their investments, manage to improve the conditions of the footballers, which in turn continues to increase interest in the competition.
One of the most prominent sponsors in this last season is Finetwork, who after sponsoring the RFEF as part of its marketing strategy also gave its name to the competition, replacing Iberdrola, who according to some sources consulted stopped doing so due to the increase in cache of the competition, despite the fact that they were satisfied with the return.
This next five years will be that of consolidation as a business to be exploited and not as a house of cards supported with just enough
What awaits you five years from now, when DAZN’s current contract for broadcasts will have expired? According to Menayo, the consolidation. “Possibly we are talking about the period that there is for build a solid structure that shows that we are dealing with a product/business to be exploited and not a house of cards supported with just enough“, says the journalist.
“Both institutions and clubs conceive it that way and it is in their hands to develop a project that not only has continuity when the contract signed with DAZN ends, but that is revalued for the next cycle.” That is to say, except for the economic distances, the same thing happens that has happened with the rights of LaLiga, revalued in each of the last bids.
Featured image: Óscar J Barroso / Shutterstock.
Leave a Reply