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NWSL announces 2017 national TV schedule

22 games, plus every playoff match, will be shown on Lifetime

The National Women’s Soccer League, along with Lifetime, has announced the schedule for 2017’s nationally televised games. 22 NWSL regular season matches will be shown on Lifetime at 4pm Eastern on Saturdays, as well as both semifinals and NWSL Championsip game. All games will feature a half-hour pregame show, and will be available for streaming (live and on demand) via MyLifetime.com and the Lifetime app.

The first NWSL game of the week will take place on April 15, with the Portland Thorns hosting the Orlando Pride. Unlike the rest of the league’s Lifetime games, this one will kick off at 3pm, with the pregame show starting at 2:30pm.

The Washington Spirit will play in three games on Lifetime, but only in road games. On April 22, they’ll travel south to play the Pride in a game that will surely involve a lot of talk about the trade that sent former Spirit captain Ali Krieger to Orlando. They’ll next appear on national television on June 17, as they face the Chicago Red Stars in a rematch of last year’s dramatic semifinal. Finally, on August 19, they’ll see another rematch, as they’ll face the North Carolina Courage (who, in their past life as the Western New York Flash, snatched the NWSL title from Washington’s grasp last year).

Unsurprisingly, stadium infrastructure and crowd size played a major factor in determining who appears on TV the most. The Pride and the Houston Dash will both be on Lifetime seven times, while the Thorns and Red Stars will play in six games of the week. Orlando, Houston, and Portland all happen to share a venue with an MLS club, which means broadcasting infrastructure is already in place and ready to go. The Thorns and Pride are the league’s attendance leaders, and they will both host five Lifetime matches (the most of any club). In a scheduling quirk, the Dash will appear in four straight games of the week at one point.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Spirit, FC Kansas City, and the Boston Breakers will not host any nationally televised games, and the latter pair will each only appear in one game on Lifetime. All three play in venues that would be tough to prepare for national television, though that is likely not the only factor. For example, Sky Blue FC plays in arguably the most scaled-down venue in the league, but will host one game.

The complete national broadcast schedule is as follows:

2017 NWSL TV Schedule

Date Pregame Kickoff Home Team Visiting Team
Date Pregame Kickoff Home Team Visiting Team
Saturday, April 15, 2017 2:30 PM 3:00 PM Portland Thorns FC Orlando Pride
Saturday, April 22, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Orlando Pride Washington Spirit
Saturday, April 29, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Portland Thorns FC Chicago Red Stars
Saturday, May 06, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Chicago Red Stars Houston Dash
Saturday, May 13, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Houston Dash Sky Blue FC
Saturday, May 20, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Sky Blue FC Houston Dash
Saturday, May 27, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Houston Dash Seattle Reign FC
Saturday, June 03, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM North Carolina Courage FC Kansas City
Saturday, June 17, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Chicago Red Stars Washington Spirit
Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Orlando Pride Houston Dash
Saturday, July 01, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM North Carolina Courage Sky Blue FC
Saturday, July 08, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM North Carolina Courage Seattle Reign FC
Saturday, July 15, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Portland Thorns FC North Carolina Courage
Saturday, July 22, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Chicago Red Stars Orlando Pride
Saturday, August 05, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Portland Thorns FC Houston Dash
Saturday, August 12, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Orlando Pride Sky Blue FC
Saturday, August 19, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM North Carolina Courage Washington Spirit
Saturday, August 26, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Seattle Reign FC Portland Thorns FC
Saturday, September 02, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Orlando Pride Boston Breakers
Saturday, September 09, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Orlando Pride Seattle Reign FC
Saturday, September 23, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Houston Dash Chicago Red Stars
Saturday, September 30, 2017 3:30 PM 4:00 PM Portland Thorns FC Chicago Red Stars