The latest NWSL TV rights deal now has broadcasters competing for the league. The renewal phase between CBS and NWSL expired. As a result, other suitors can enter the ring, according to the Sports Business Journal.
As of now, CBS’s current deal with the top women’s soccer division in the United States expires at the end of the 2023 season. That is a three-year deal worth $4.5 million signed back before the 2020 season. Since that time, NWSL experienced strong growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Four teams started play in those three years. Now, there are 12 teams, with rumors swirling already for future teams.
On top of measurable growth in terms of teams, NWSL also sees an uptick in viewership. The 2022 NWSL Final aired on CBS, and the flagship channel drew 915,000 viewers. Also, the 2024 NWSL TV rights deal and beyond will follow the 2023 Women’s World Cup. That tournament is set to feature many players that ply their trade in NWSL. It presents a strong opportunity to take advantage of nationwide interest in the women’s game.
Therefore, the new deal for NWSL TV rights will continue to grow into a hotter commodity. Streaming is the king, is as the case for many soccer leagues. The current CBS deal has some games on CBS’s OTA channel, with more on CBS Sports Network. However, all games are available via Paramount+, the same home for the UEFA Champions League or Serie A.
NWSL TV rights deal opens up for 2024 and beyond
CBS is, fittingly, in the running for the next batch of NWSL TV rights. However, the competition may not be as stringent as it is for other leagues. In fact, Apple, which holds the rights to the top men’s soccer division in the United States, is one of the few in the running to compete with CBS.
The reason is that many providers are downsizing and cutting costs. ESPN is already tied up with LaLiga, the Bundesliga, the English Football League and FA Cup to go along with various other leagues across the world. NBC is full set on the Premier League, splashing out huge sums of cash for those rights last year.
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