Homegrown star Jessie Fleming is heading into her first season with Chelsea of the FA Women’s Super League, and now Canadians will be able to watch the 22-year-old midfielder from London, Ont.
Sportsnet announced Friday it has signed an exclusive two-year deal to broadcast action from England’s top women’s league across Canada.
“National interest in soccer, particularly women’s soccer, continues to grow given the success of Canadian players internationally. Sportsnet is excited to showcase the top-level quality of FA WSL and its athletes across our platforms, and help extend its reach to new audiences across the country,” said Bart Yabsley, president of Sportsnet, in a press release.
Sportsnet will broadcast 50 regular-season games, plus the semifinals and finals of the Women’s FA Cup, starting with this Saturday with Aston Villa vs. Manchester City on SN NOW at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT as action kicks off across the league. Fleming will make her debut Sunday as Chelsea begins its title defence against Manchester United at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT on SN NOW.
Several fixtures will be available live each week on SN NOW, with select games also airing on Sportsnet’s TV channels. Full TV listings can be found here.
Fleming — who has won 77 caps for Canada and made her senior debut in 2013 at age 15, making her the second-youngest to do so after Kara Lang — joined Chelsea in July after a stellar collegiate career at UCLA.
Other Canadians currently playing in Europe include Janine Beckie (Manchester City) and Ashley Lawrence and Jordyn Huitema (Paris Saint-Germain).
See below for the FAWSL’s Week One broadcast schedule:
Saturday, September 5
Aston Villa vs. Manchester City: 9:30 a.m. ET / 6:30 a.m. PT (SN NOW)
Sunday, September 6
Arsenal vs. Reading: 7:30 a.m. ET / 4:30 a.m. PT (SN NOW)
Manchester United vs. Chelsea: 9:30 a.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT (SN NOW)
Encore Presentation: Noon ET / 9 a.m. PT (Sportsnet ONE)