NWSL, FOX Sports announce TV deal

FOX Soccer News' Kara Lang explains why another women's pro soccer league will work.
FOX Soccer News' Kara Lang explains why another women's pro soccer league will work.
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Leander Schaerlaeckens explains why glitz, glamour alone will not help the NWSL succeed.

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) announced on Thursday a one-year agreement to televise nine games of NWSL’s inaugural season. As part of the agreement, FSMG will air six regular-season matches and all three playoff matches, which include two semifinal games on Aug. 24 and 25, and the championship game on Aug. 31.

“We are very pleased to announce this media agreement with FSMG,” said NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey. “The opportunity to highlight the race for the playoffs and the three biggest games of the season that will decide the first league champion on national television is important for the growth of the league. Our fans will get the chance to see the high caliber of women’s soccer, and we also hope to create many new fans who will appreciate the amazing athletes and personalities in the league.”

Beginning July 8, FOX Soccer will televise one game per week over the final six weeks of the season, leading up to the NWSL Playoffs. The schedule and announce-teams will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

“The agreement with the NWSL showcases our support of women’s soccer and the growing popularity it’s experiencing in the country,” said David Nathanson, General Manager of FOX Soccer. “We are excited to be the network home for the sport’s top level players, many of whom will be featured on FOX Sports at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

The eight cities include old-timers Boston, Chicago, Rochester, N.Y, Piscataway, N.J., and Washington, D.C., plus newcomers Kansas City, Portland and Seattle. Most teams will compete in venues that seat between 3,000 and 6,000. The Boston Breakers' home at Dilboy Stadium holds 3,500; FC Kansas City provides 6,150 seats at the Shawnee Mission District Stadium; the Flash offers the 13,768-capacity Sahlen's Stadium. The largest venue is Jeld-Wen Field, the home of the Portland Thorns and Timbers of the MLS, which holds 20,488. Ticket prices start at $10 and $120 for a season-ticket package of 11 home games.

FOX Soccer, part of the FOX Sports Media Group, offers the most comprehensive multi-media coverage of world-class soccer available in the United States. Encompassing FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, and FOX Soccer 2Go, the network serves as the primary destination in the United States for elite competitions including England’s Barclays Premier League and FA Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, the Scottish Premier League, and the Australian Hyundai A-League in addition to such prestigious tournaments as the CONCACAF Champions League and CONCACAF Gold Cup, as well as the future home of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Associated Press was used in this report.

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