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NWSL announces multi-year broadcast deal with CBS, Twitch

The Washington Spirit will be a part of the first-ever league match shown on CBS

2020 NWSL Draft Photo by Jose Argueta/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The National Women’s Soccer League, CBS, and online streaming platform Twitch have announced a three-year broadcast deal. CBS will broadcast select games on television via their traditional over-the-air stations as well as on the subscription CBS Sports Network, and will stream games on their platform, CBS All Access. Twitch, meanwhile, will stream 24 NWSL games in the U.S. and Canada during the course of the season, and will be the exclusive place for international viewers to watch the league.

“The NWSL is elated to partner with CBS Sports and Twitch, two incredible media companies with a proven track record of award-winning coverage,” said newly-named NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird in a press release. “This new media-rights agreement is a watershed moment for women’s soccer in the U.S. and around the world and is the first time NWSL matches will be available to such a wide audience. We are excited to work with CBS with its rich history, tradition and storied innovation to utilize the power of their multiple platforms to reach more fans. We also are eager to team up with Twitch to showcase the brightest stars in the sport. These partnerships will continue to amplify the NWSL and its teams on a national and international stage.”

The Washington Spirit’s season opener (against OL Reign on April 18 at Audi Field) is set to be broadcast on CBS. CBS will also broadcast the 2020 NWSL Championship game on over-the-air TV, while both semifinals will be shown on CBS Sports Network. There are currently 13 Spirit games scheduled for either CBS, CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access, or Twitch, with the team’s release saying that broadcasts for games later in the season are still to be determined:

  • 4/18: Spirit vs. OL Reign (CBS)
  • 5/2: Spirit vs. Utah Royals FC (Twitch)
  • 5/9: Spirit at Sky Blue FC (CBS Sports Network)
  • 5/13: Spirit vs. Chicago Red Stars (CBS All Access)
  • 5/16: Spirit at North Carolina Courage (Twitch)
  • 5/23: Spirit at OL Reign (Twitch)
  • 5/30: Spirit vs. Orlando Pride (Twitch)
  • 6/13: Spirit at North Carolina Courage (CBS All Access)
  • 6/17: Spirit at Houston Dash (CBS All Access)
  • 6/20: Spirit vs. Portland Thorns FC (Twitch)
  • 6/26: Spirit at Orlando Pride (CBS All Access)
  • 7/3: Spirit vs. Sky Blue FC (CBS All Access)
  • 7/18: Spirit at Utah Royals FC (CBS All Access)

The NWSL’s previous broadcast deal, which saw A+E Networks acquire a financial stake in the league while broadcasting matches on Lifetime, was scheduled to go for three years, but ended after two. Last year, the Spirit announced a local television broadcast deal with NBC Sports Washington, and one source has told Black and Red United that a similar deal is a distinct possibility for 2020.