W-League announcement breakdown –
The W-League has announced that for the first time in the competition’s history, every single match will be available to watch, either on TV or through streaming services.
As well as the broadcasting news, the 2018-19 fixture was released as were salary cap increases and the introduction of an international break.
Here are the highlights from a mammoth day of news.
Every single match will be available to watch either through Fox Sports – with half the games broadcast on TV and the other half available to stream on the Fox Sports website – or the My Football Live app.
The app is free for Telstra customers on certain plans and a subscription can be purchased with weekly, monthly or annual fees.
SBS Viceland will also show 15 regular season matches plus the finals ensuring the league still has a free-to-air presence, even if it is smaller than last season.
Thursday night is now W-League night with stand alone, prime time matches every week. The season kicks off on a Thursday with a Sydney derby at Marconi Stadium. There are also fewer scheduled double headers with A-League matches meaning there is a firm focus on the W-League in its own right.
The November international window – when the Matildas will play a two-game series against Chile – will see a pause in the W-League. This is great news for the likes of Sydney FC who have announced the signing of six Matildas.
Unfortunately, there are still a few 5:20pm Friday night kick-offs – an inconvenient time for spectators and viewers alike – but this is a small negative among many positives.
The salary cap has increased by $50,000 to $350,000 a team. In conjunction with that increase is a raise in the minimum amount clubs must spend – up to $221,166. The importance of the minimum spend being increased alongside the overall salary cap can’t be understated.
This has also seen the minimum retainer increase to $12,287 with the average salary expected to hit $17,500. While it is still not a lot of money, it is a raise.
Overseas fans will also get a W-League fix with the league announcing broadcast deals with ESPN+ in North America and BT Sport in the UK. Selected matches will be available to international fans.