The National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), which has managed to play matches all over the country this summer, has secured its first broadcast television deal. beIN SPORTS Xtra network will broadcast NISA’s Fall Championship tournament, which will take place between September 21 and October 2.
Eight clubs – California United Strikers FC, LA Force, Oakland Roots SC, Michigan Stars FC, Detroit City FC, New York Cosmos, New Amsterdam FC, and Chattanooga FC, will compete for NISA’s Fall Championship. The tournament will be held in a single location and will offer doubleheaders at 5 and 8 PM Eastern.
Those eight clubs are currently playing an abbreviated season through late September. California United Strikers, LA Force and Oakland Roots are sharing Orange County’s sparkling new Great Park Championship Stadium. The New York Cosmos are at their longtime home, the Mitchel Athletic Complex located in the heart of Long Island’s Nassau County. The Michigan Stars are at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas Outdoor Stadium in Pontiac, Michigan. Detroit City are playing at historic Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, Michigan – an enclave near Detroit’s North End. Chattanooga FC are playing at Finley Stadium near the banks of the winding Tennessee River. And New Amsterdam FC are playing at Warwick Village’s Hudson Sports Complex in bucolic Upstate New York. These matches are available free to stream at NISAsoccer.com and mycujoo.tv.
beIN SPORTS Xtra is available free over-the-air to anyone with a digital antenna in 15 major American cities. But only three NISA clubs, the LA Force, Cal United Strikers, and Oakland Roots, have beIN SPORTS Xtra available as a channel on over-the-air TV in their markets. The channel isn’t available in Tennessee, Michigan, or New York state, although enterprising Cosmos and NAFC fans may be able to pick up Connecticut’s channel 34.2.
Otherwise, beIN SPORTS Xtra can be streamed on a smart TV, phone, or tablet via the Roku Channel, Redbox, Xumo, Samsung TV Plus, and Pluto TV. Some NISA matches will also be streamed on beIN SPORTS Connect for those who can log in with their cable or satellite subscription info.
This summer, NISA successfully pulled off its Independent Cup, featuring regionalized action contested by NISA member clubs and non-affiliated amateur clubs. And the Independent Cup looks like it will be back bigger and better in 2021 as NISA recently announced agreements with the Gulf Coast Premier League, the Midwest Premier League, and the Eastern Premier League.
NISA itself will be expanding next year as Stumptown Athletic, based outside Charlotte in Matthews, North Carolina, and San Diego 1904 FC will rejoin the competition while the New Jersey Teamsters, based in Bayonne will also start play.
It’s crucial for smaller professional soccer leagues like NISA to thrive in America. As Warren Barton told Soccer Today when the league launched, “[i]t is important for players to have different opportunities. NISA can offer exposure to USL, MLS, and Europe. There is nothing like living the dream of being a professional soccer player, it is all about the opportunity to play and it is important these new pros grab this chance with both hands.”
NISA’s agreement with beIN SPORTS gives American viewers even more action to enjoy. And in a world where more and more soccer is being put behind streaming paywalls, seeing matches being made available for free is welcome news.
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