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Tuesday 26 Oct 2021
BBC Sport NI agrees new five-year broadcast deal for Northern Ireland women’s internationals

BBC Sport NI will show home Northern Ireland senior women’s internationals until 2026 in a new five-year broadcast agreement with the Irish FA announced today.

The agreement will see every home game for Kenny Shiels’ side live streamed on BBC iPlayer. Northern Ireland’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifier against England on 8 April next year will also be shown live on BBC network and BBC Two NI. 

The agreement builds on the existing partnership between BBC Sport NI and the Irish FA which saw BBC Northern Ireland broadcast Northern Ireland’s historic qualification for UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. 

The tournament will be staged in England next summer and will be shown live across the BBC. The draw for UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 takes place this Thursday (28 October) and is live on BBC One NI from 4.30pm. 

Ahead of the draw BBC Sport NI will live-stream Northern Ireland’s Women’s World Cup qualifier against Austria this evening (26 October – kick-off 7.00). Thomas Kane is on commentary with former Northern Ireland international Gail Redmond providing analysis. There will also be pre-match news and post-match reaction across TV, radio and online.

Northern Ireland senior women’s team captain Marissa Callaghan said: “This partnership with the BBC means more visibility and connection with fans of all ages right across the country. Having our games broadcast live on a regular basis shows just how far the women’s game has come.”

Neil Brittain, Executive Editor of BBC Sport NI, said: “This is a really exciting time to be extending our partnership with the Northern Ireland women’s international team.

“With the Euros just a few months away, and a strong start to World Cup qualification already achieved, this is a group of players that is bringing pride to football fans across Northern Ireland. We look forward to bringing these matches free to audiences and to telling the story of this team next summer and for the next five years.”

Northern Ireland senior women’s team manager Kenny Shiels said: “I am so proud to lead this group of players.

“They are role models to every young girl in Northern Ireland and I am delighted that this deal with the BBC will allow many more people in homes across the country to follow their impressive achievements.”

And Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson added: “There has never been a better time to be involved in women’s and girls’ football in this country and we’re delighted that the BBC are coming on this journey with us.

“More live games means more visibility for the players and this will help the game, like our brilliant senior women’s team, continue to go from strength to strength.”

This new deal adds to BBC Sport NI’s live rights portfolio which includes The Ulster GAA Senior Football Championship, The United Rugby Championship, The NIFL Premiership, The Irish Cup, The North-West 200, The Ulster GAA Ladies Senior Football Championship, Ulster Women’s interprovincial rugby matches, The Larne Half-Marathon, schools’ sport and The SuperCup NI.

Image: Northern Ireland senior women’s team manager Kenny Shiels, BBC Sport NI’s Nicola McCarthy, Northern Ireland Women captain Marissa Callaghan and BBC Sport NI’s Thomas Kane announce the new broadcast deal.