NWSL announced on Wednesday that six matches previously slated to be broadcast on Lifetime will be switched to ESPNNEWS. Those matches will be aired during evening time slots and not in the traditional 4:00 p.m. EDT window that had been reserved for Lifetime. The first ESPNEWS game will be June 16 between the Thorns and Red Stars in Chicago. That air time for that match is now 8:00 p.m. EDT.
News about an agreement to switch some matches to an ESPN Network was first reported by The Equalizer’s Dan Lauletta.
#NWSL is close to announcing an expanded TV rights arrangement. Looks like a few Lifetime games could shift to an ESPN network. Spirit match at Audi Field likely to be one of them
— Dan Lauletta (@TheDanLauletta) June 1, 2018
The ESPNEWS matches will continue to be called by the regular Lifetime crew, led by play-by-play woman Jenn Hildreth. The final regular season match to be aired nationally has been changed to the Friday, September 7 match between the Reign and Thorns at Providence Park. That match will kick off at 10:00 p.m. and air on Lifetime. There will be on nationally televised Saturday match on September 8, the final day of the regular season.
Matches airing on ESPN will be available for domestic fans on the free ESPN streaming app. Authentication is required. ESPNEWS matches and the September 7 match will be previewed in a 20-minute pregame show that will air on NWSL’s Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages.
The remaining list of nationally televised NWSL matches is as follows:
June 16: Thorns at Red Stars, 8pm EDT (ESPNEWS)
June 23: Pride at Spirit, 7pm EDT (ESPNEWS)
June 30: Courage at Pride, 3:30 pm EDT (Lifetime)
July 7: Spirit at Pride, 7pm EDT (ESPNEWS)
July 14: Pride at Royals, 7pm EDT (ESPNEWS)
July 21: Reign at Pride, 3:30 pm EDT (Lifetime)
August 11: Reign at Royals, 3:30 pm EDT (Lifetime)
August 18: Red Stars at Thorns, 10:30 pm EDT (ESPNEWS)
August 25: Thorns at Spirit, 7pm EDT (ESPNEWS, Audi Field)
September 7 (Friday): Reign at Thorns, 10pm EDT (Lifetime)