International women's soccer seems to grow quite a bit between every Women's World Cup and this summer's tournament in Germany will set some new milestones.
On the topic of TV coverage, this is a press release that FIFA put out today. Pretty cool stuff.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 Germany from June 26 to July 17 is poised to mark a milestone in competitive women’s football with unparalleled coverage on television in terms of both production and distribution.
Underlining the huge strides the women’s game has made in recent years, for the first time ever the FIFA broadcast production will comprise up to 18 cameras for selected matches, including in-goal cameras and two steadycams for all matches.
A spidercam and a helicopter camera will be in operation for selected matches to capture the action on the field from a bird’s eye perspective, while a further two cameras will follow the teams’ arrival by coach at the stadium. Virtual graphics will also be provided to support broadcasters and ultimately ensure fans enjoy a viewing experience on a par with the men’s game.
“We have never seen coverage on a scale like this before in women’s football. It shows our commitment towards improving the media production of the world’s premier women’s football competition. The football on the pitch will be great, and we want to be sure the fans receive the best-quality images and presentation of the matches,” said Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV.
FIFA has also secured top match directors from the FIFA World Cup and other premier football competitions for the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a view to ensuring the best possible broadcast production and meeting broadcasters’ high expectations.
With the sale of rights still ongoing in certain parts of the world, the event is projected to be broadcast in over 200 territories. Europe in particular will enjoy extensive coverage of the event, with German broadcasters ARD/ZDF showing matches in Germany, the pan-European sports channel Eurosport broadcasting across the continent, and the European Broadcasting Union aiming to show match action in the 34 member territories covered in its agreement.
Beyond Europe, FIFA’s strong relationship with Al Jazeera will see matches broadcast on a level hitherto not seen for women’s sport in the Middle East and North Africa, with coverage across 23 territories. In North America, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Univision and ESPN will throw their support behind the broadcasts, while “down under”, SBS will provide strong coverage as Australia’s Matildas, the Asian champions, compete for the trophy.