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USWNT heads to ESPN/Fox/Univision in new deals

Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer have signed eight-year media rights deals with ESPN, Fox and Univision, and the ramifications trickle down to the women’s game.

As part of the deal, ESPN2 (primarily) and Fox Sports 1 will each air a minimum of 34 regular season MLS games on Sundays at 5 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET, from 2015-2022. The two networks will also share hosting duties of U.S. men’s and women’s national team games (full details of the agreement here).

What it means for women’s soccer fans: U.S. women’s national team games will now be shared between ESPN and Fox. They currently air on ESPN, Fox, and NBC. Univision will also broadcast a minimum of four U.S. women’s national team games in Spanish each year from 2015-22.

The TV deals do not include the National Women’s Soccer League. Executive director Cheryl Bailey said last weekend that she expects to soon announce a media rights deal for the NWSL, though it is unclear with which network. Fox aired six regular season games and all three playoff games last year in the inaugural NWSL season. The entire regular season aired on the now defunct Fox Soccer, while the playoffs were shown on Fox Sports 2 and Fox Soccer.

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