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By MITCHELL NORTHAM
ESPN and the National Women’s Soccer League announced a one-year agreement today that will have ESPN broadcast nine NWSL games this season.
ESPN 2 will air three regular season games, both semifinal matches, and the NWSL championship, while three other regular season games will be aired on the network’s online streaming service, ESPN3.
“We are very excited to announce our new agreement with ESPN,” NWSL executive director Cheryl Bailey said in a statement. “In the midst of our second season, we are striving to provide our fans with improved access to our league matches and airing our games on ESPN2 and ESPN3 will give us a broader platform to expose fans to the amazing caliber of women’s soccer in the NWSL. We also hope to create new fans who will appreciate the amazing athletes and personalities in our league.”
Of the regular season matches airing, three will be hosted by Portland Thorns FC, two by the Houston Dash and one by the Western New York Flash. Teams that will not have their games on air unless they make the playoffs are the Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City and the Washington Spirit.
Julie Foudy, the former captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team, will also be involved in the broadcasts and will conduct post-game interviews with players.
“This agreement with the NWSL represents ESPN’s continued commitment to soccer and to top level women’s sports,” ESPN senior VP of programming Scott Guglielmino said in a statement. “We are excited to showcase this new league and feature some of the best female soccer players in the world leading in to the 2015 FIFA World Cup.”
Here’s what ESPN’s NWSL schedule looks like:
Sunday, July 20 – Portland Thorns FC vs Boston Breakers – 5:00 p.m. ESPN2
Wednesday, July 30 – Houston Dash vs Seattle Reign FC – 9:00 p.m. ESPN3
Sunday, August 3 – Portland Thorns vs FC Houston Dash – 10:00 p.m. ESPN2
Saturday, August 9 – Houston Dash vs Sky Blue FC – 9:00 p.m. ESPN3
Wednesday, August 13 – Western New York Flash vs Sky Blue FC – 7:00 p.m. ESPN2
Sunday, August 17 – Portland Thorns FC vs Seattle Reign FC – 5:00 p.m. ESPN3
Saturday, August 23 – Semifinal – 1:00 p.m. ESPN2
Sunday, August 24 – Semifinal – 3/11 p.m. ESPN2
Sunday, August 31 – Championship – 3:00 p.m. ESPN2
What do you think of this news? Excited to see NWSL on national TV this year?
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