The National Women’s Soccer League has finalised a three-year broadcast deal with CBS Sports and streaming service Twitch.
CBS Sports will broadcast a total of 87 NWSL matches in 2020 across the main CBS network, CBS Sports Network, and CBS All Access, CBS’s subscription on-demand and live-streaming service.
The NWSL season opener – between Washington Spirit and OL Reign at Audi Field on April 18 – and championship game will be aired on CBS, with 14 matches on CBS Sports Network, including both semi-finals, and 71 additional games on CBS All Access.
All games offered on CBS All Access will be available to subscribers online at CBS.com, on mobile devices via the CBS app and on all major connected TV devices and platforms.
In addition, the Amazon-owned Twitch will stream free coverage of 24 selected matches during the 2020 NWSL regular season. Notably, Twitch will also serve as the NWSL’s exclusive international media rights partner outside the United States, making all 108 regular-season matches, the playoffs, and championship available to global viewers.
The NWSL and Twitch will also collaborate on additional league and player-related content and original programming opportunities.
Lisa Baird, the newly-appointed NWSL commissioner, said in a statement: “This new media-rights agreement is a watershed moment for women’s soccer in the US and around the world and is the first time NWSL matches will be available to such a wide audience. These partnerships will continue to amplify the NWSL and its teams on a national and international stage.”
The media-rights agreements between CBS Sports and Twitch were negotiated by the Octagon agency, on behalf of the NWSL.
CBS, for its part, is deepening its ties to soccer after a lengthy absence. In November, CBS secured the English-language rights to the Uefa Champions League from the 2021-22 season through 2023-24.
The Champions League was the first major soccer property that CBS landed since it aired the original North American Soccer League in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the 1974 World Cup. It was also confirmed that CBS had won the rights to the Europa League, and the newly-created (third-tier) European Conference League as well.