This weekend’s Louisville City game against Indy Eleven will make history as the first USL game televised on free, over-the-air television courtesy of CBS. It’s part of CBS’s new broadcast deal with the USL that puts over 100 games across CBS platforms. Yet, this contest between Louisville City and Indy Eleven is historic because it brings the league to network television.

Previous seasons of the USL Championship aired on ESPN+ in their entirety. On several occasions, games would be put on ESPN or ESPN2. While that did open the door to cable subscribers, this new deal with CBS takes it one step further. Putting a USL Championship game between Louisville City and Indy Eleven allows anyone with an antenna to watch the game. In other words, this is a rare moment of a soccer game in the United States not requiring some kind of subscription.

Only a few games will be available throughout the USL Championship season on the CBS TV channel. That includes the USL Championship Final later in the season.

Major moment for USL with game on CBS broadcast TV channel

Yet, while streaming has a role in the soccer world in the United States, it speaks volumes to the ability of the USL Championship to earn a spot on CBS at this busy time of year. After Saturday’s game on CBS, the channel switches to coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. One week later, CBS will have coverage of The Masters golf tournament. The USL fitting into this array of sports shows that the league has a following among the American public. The USL called it a “clear indication of our vital position in American soccer and a marker of how far the USL has come over the past decade.”

The two clubs on display in this game are measuring sticks for the USL Championship. On one hand, Louisville City has been a picture of success in USL since launching in 2015 as a division-three side. The two-time USL Cup winner helped open a new modern stadium in 2020. Louisville has three wins from three games to open this season, too. Likewise, Indy Eleven has shown consistency, and its owners are building a new stadium in downtown Indianapolis. While success has not been as common for Indy Eleven, the USL Championship will still be putting on a show on CBS this weekend.

Part of the draw for this match is the fact that Indy and Louisville share a rivalry. With just 90 miles of separation between the two, this game has become one of the premier derbies in the USL Championship, and that could contribute to fireworks on CBS and Paramount+ this weekend.

Find out how to watch all of the games with our USL Championship TV schedule.