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ESPN networks to air nine NWSL games in 2014

The National Women’s Soccer League announced on Wednesday that nine matches from the remainder of the 2014 season will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, beginning July 20.

ESPN2 will air three regular season games and all three playoff games — the two semifinals and the championship — while three regular season matches will be streamed online on ESPN3.

“We are very excited to announce our new agreement with ESPN,” NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey said. “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.”

Portland Thorns FC will host two of the three regular season matches nationally televised on ESPN2, while the Western New York Flash will host the other. Six of the nine NWSL teams will appear on one of the ESPN2 or ESPN3 broadcasts. FC Kansas City, the Chicago Red Stars and the Washington Spirit will not be part of the broadcasts unless they make the playoffs.

The NWSL championship game is now locked in for Sunday, August 31 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

ESPN is also planning further editorial coverage around the broadcasts, with espnW’s Graham Hays writing NWSL features throughout the season and Julie Foudy providing postgame interviews.

ESPN3 is available in more than 92 million households nationwide, according to the company.

“This agreement with the NWSL represents ESPN’s continued commitment to soccer and to top level women’s sports,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN Senior Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions. “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.”

The nine ESPN matches will not be streamed on YouTube.

2014 NWSL National Television Schedule*
Date Home Team Away Team Time (ET) TV
Sunday, July 20, 2014 Portland Thorns FC Boston Breakers 5:00 p.m. ESPN2
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Houston Dash Seattle Reign FC 9:00 p.m. ESPN3
Sunday, August 03, 2014 Portland Thorns FC Houston Dash 10:00 p.m. ESPN2
Saturday, August 09, 2014 Houston Dash Sky Blue FC 9:00 p.m. ESPN3
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 Western New York Flash Sky Blue FC 7:00 p.m. ESPN2
Sunday, August 17, 2014 Portland Thorns FC Seattle Reign FC 5:00 p.m. ESPN3
Saturday, August 23, 2014 Semifinal 1:00 p.m. ESPN2
Sunday, August 24, 2014 Semifinal 3/11 p.m. ESPN2
Sunday, August 31, 2014 Championship 3:00 p.m. ESPN2
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