On the heels of a successful run by the US Women’s National Team in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, FOX Sports has announced that a deal that includes broadcast rights to 10 games from the National Women’s Soccer League. The deal includes three regular season matches, all three games from the NWSL playoffs, two semi-final games and the final Championship game on October 1.
Four regular season matches will also be streamed live on the network’s app FOX Sports GO starting Wednesday July 22. The first match scheduled to be shown is a live online stream that will allow fans to watch Megan Rapinoe’s Seattle Reign FC face off against league rivals Portland Thorns led by Alex Morgan.
This is exciting news for the women’s professional league in the United States, which is often overlooked for MLS, and likely comes from the increased ratings from the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which FOX has been covering since the tournament began earlier this month.
Many women currently playing in the 2015 Women’s World Cup come from NWSL teams, including every player on the USWNT with the exception of Abby Wambach. There were 160 total appearances from players in this World Cup who play for NWSL teams with 127 starts and 33 substitutions according to NWSLsoccer.com.
“We are extremely thrilled to once again partner with FOX Sports to broadcast the National Women’s Soccer League to a national audience,” said NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush.
Although not all 9 teams in the NWSL will be featured on television, it is a positive step in the right direction for the league. This Women’s World Cup has been the most watched in the history of the game and the inclusion of women’s rosters in the upcoming release of FIFA 16 shows that the women’s game is progressing into mainstream consciousness.
The growth for soccer in the United States has been slow and that growth for the women’s game has been even slower, but other countries have begun to pay attention to their respective women’s national teams and broadcasting the games to a national audience will encourage casual fans to tune in.
FOX also released the schedule of games they plan to show, all times listed below are in Eastern Standard Time.
Wednesday 22 July
10:00 PM – Portland Thorns v. Seattle Reign FC (FOXSportsGO app and FOXSportsGO.com)
Wednesday July 29
8:30 PM – Houston Dash v. FC Kansas City (FOXSportsGo app and FOXSportsGO.com)
Wednesday August 5
10:00 PM – Portland Thorns FC v. Boston Breakers (FOXSportsGo app and FOXSportsGO.com)
Friday August 2
8:30 PM – Houston Dash v. Sky Blue FC (FOXSportsGo app and FOXSportsGO.com)
Sunday August 9
9:30 PM – Portland Thorns FC v. Chicago Red Stars (FOXSports 1)
Friday August 21
8:00 PM – Houston Dash v. Seattle Reign FC (FOXSports 1)
Sunday August 30
9:30 PM – Portland Thorns v. Washington Spirit (FOXSports 1)
Sunday September 13
TBD – SemiFinal 1 (FOXSports 1)
TBD – SemiFinal 2 (FOXSports 1)
Thursday October 1
TBD – FINAL (FOXSports 1)
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