The Women’s Tackle Football Conference announced on September 16 that they have agreed to a media rights deal with Vyre Network to provide streaming services for all games through the 2026 season. The deal, worth at least $1.5 million, will give professional women’s tackle football an increased market presence and help provide monetary awards for players. The first-of-its-kind deal will provide streaming for home games, player highlights, and numerous other features.
The deal comes after Vyre broadcasted the WNFC Championship Game in Denton, Texas, on August 7, 2021. The Championship game, known as the IX Cup in honor of Title 9 that gave protections to women against sex-based discrimination, featured the Texas Elite Spartans playing against the San Diego Rebellion. The Spartans triumphed 27-6 on the way to completing their second undefeated season as founding members of the league.
“This is a huge step in the right direction for not only women, but the sport of football, television, and equality as a whole. Soon, the pipeline from youth football to college to a professional tackle career will be a clear path for women as it is for men,” said Lamar Seay, CEO of Vyre Network.
Vyre announced that the coverage for WNFC will comprise a dedicated channel on the platform to be called WNFC TV. The deal will allow players to receive monetary awards for performance, a benefit the league has so far lacked. The cash awards will go to the WNFC TV Impact Players of the Game and mark the first time financial compensation will be tied to on-field performance.
Vyre Network is a streaming platform that hosts movies, television shows, and sports events. The service is available through most app stores on all common devices and has been downloaded in at least 121 countries worldwide. The newly-announced media deal is the first exclusive streaming deal to cover women’s tackle football.
The WNFC was founded in 2018 and began to play in 2019, with 15 teams competing. Adidas was an early sponsor and continues to provide state-of-the-art equipment for players. Current league sponsors include Riddell, Wilson, Sports Academy, ZoomBang, VickyCakes, Valley Oaks Medical Group, and Oliver Rose.
The 2020 season was canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions, but the WNFC was able to return to play for the 2021 season with 20 teams playing in two conferences. The WNFC announced on September 11, 2021, that a new team will launch for the 2022 season. The newest addition to professional women’s tackle football is the Los Angeles Legends, founded by LA native Monique Adams.
Women’s tackle football has been one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States for several years. Fueled by a desire to change the narrative that girls can’t play football, league founder and COO Odessa Jenkins, said the new media deal presents an exciting time for the WNFC that will help the league grow and gain new sponsors, supporters, and fans. Jenkins also owns the Texas Elite Spartans.