A slew of measures to drive engagement with an expanded Liberty A-League Women’s competition have been unveiled by the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), building on feedback from fans and players in the lead-up to the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The fixture schedule for the competition has been released, featuring the majority of games at family-friendly kick off times and many based at boutique venues in a deliberate effort to build atmosphere.
For the first time ever, all registered junior players across the country, boys and girls, will be welcome for free at Liberty A-League games* – offering young fans the chance to see current and future Matildas every week as excitement grows ahead of the World Cup.
After consulting with fans and players in the off-season, APL has moved to consolidate kick-off times
to make games as accessible to families as possible. The APL is also announcing its investment in an innovative broadcast format designed to give fans a compelling live experience every week.
As well as showing every game of the Liberty A-League live and free on 10 Play and on Paramount+, the Saturday afternoon games will feature in a new ‘goal rush’-style show, switching from game to game as the action unfolds and with the host and experts having a two-way live conversation with the audience during the simultaneous games.
Australian Professional Leagues’ Chief Executive Officer, Danny Townsend said: “87,000 fans watched the UEFA Women’s Final in July and the English FA Women’s Super League Clubs immediately reported memberships going through the roof. In the year that the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, we are orienting our business to capitalise upon that opportunity and ensure a lasting legacy for women’s football.
“This year, we have every single Liberty A-League Women game available live and free for the first time ever, and free access for every participant under season to watch the games in person. We know how our fans are consuming sport and we are better serving that growing audience of young, digitally connected fans.”
Commenting on the Liberty Pass, Liberty’s Chief Executive Officer James Boyle, said: “We’re looking forward to another electric season of Liberty A-League and are delighted to be introducing the Liberty Pass to young football fans, keen to experience the passion and quality of women’s professional football.
The Liberty Pass will make football even more accessible, allowing freethinking families to enjoy an exciting live sporting experience at games throughout the season.”
The drive to reimagine the experience for both fans at the games and viewers comes as Western United joins as the competition’s 11th team, adding more games for fans and more match minutes for players.
APL has previously announced that Central Coast Mariners will join the competition next season, taking it to 12 teams with a full home and away fixture list – providing players with the same match minutes as the benchmark women’s leagues in Europe.
The players will also enter the second season of a five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which mandates the same standards for men and women across areas such as hotels, sports science and train.
• Expansion team Western United makes its Liberty A-League Women debut in the opening
round with newly signed Matilda Chloe Logarzo
• APL announces new ‘goal-rush’ style show for simultaneous games
• New ‘Liberty Pass’ will offer free tickets to registered players under 16
• Family friendly kick-off times and boutique venues to drive attendance and atmosphere