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|