While most of us were focused on firing up the grill and getting ready for a fireworks celebration on the Fourth of July, the National Women’s Soccer League was doing a little celebrating of their own. The NWSL announced a major signing with ESPN to televise 14 matches in the second half of the season. Fourteen matches will air across the ESPN network and livestream on the ESPN App.
“NWSL is a global leader in women’s professional soccer, with collectively the most talented players in the world. Together with the reach of ESPN’s vast network, we have the opportunity to bring more games to a broader audience across the country and world,” said NWSL President Amanda Duffy. “Even in the year leading up to the Women’s World Cup, we have continued to experience tremendous growth through the support, engagement, and visibility from our fans.”
The media rights agreement was a major coup for Duffy who took over the reigns of the day-to-day operations just six months ago.
ESPN signs media rights agreement with @NWSL for second half of 2019 season— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) July 4, 2019
⚽️ 14 #NWSL matches to air on ESPN2 & ESPNEWS - including both semifinals & the championship
Locally, the Houston Dash will have three televised matches , a sign of the progress the franchise has made since their inception. The Dash will host televised games on August 2nd against Reign FC and the defending NWSL champion Washington Spirit on September 25th. Those two games will be sandwiched around a September 17th match in Cary, NC against the 2017 NWSL champion North Carolina Courage.
The final whistle
The agreement wit ESPN also calls for the airing of both semifinal matches on October 20th and the NWSL championship game on October 27, 2019. The agreement could not have come at a better time for the NWSL with all eyes focused on the Women’s World Cup in France.
“We are pleased to once again televise the National Women’s Soccer League and showcase many of the world’s top female players when they return to their professional club teams,” said Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling, ESPN. “The success and excitement of the World Cup in France has been on full display and the NWSL represents the best women’s club soccer in the world.”