Soccer

NWSL reaches TV deal with ESPN for 14 games; Reign FC will be on 3 times

The National Women’s Soccer League has a television contract for the second half of its season to replace the partnership with A+E Networks that was cut short a year early by the broadcaster in February.

ESPN announced Thursday that it will televise 14 matches. Eight games will be televised on ESPN News and six on ESPN2, including both semifinals and the championship on Oct. 27. The first game will be July 14 between Portland and Orlando on ESPN News.

The Reign FC, who call Cheney Stadium home, will be on three times. The games are at the Houston Dash at 4 p.m. on Aug. 2 on ESPNEWS, at Sky Blue FC in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. on ESPNEWS and then a home game against the Portland Thorns on on Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.

“We are pleased to once again televise the National Women’s Soccer League and showcase many of the world’s top female players when they return to their professional club teams,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN’s Executive Vice President of programming and scheduling.

“The success and excitement of the World Cup in France has been on full display and the NWSL represents the best women’s club soccer in the world.”

Fox televised six games on FS1 during the second half of 2015, including three regular-season games and all three postseason matches, plus four more on digital platforms. FS1 televised three regular-season games and three postseason games in 2016.

NWSL’s partnership with A+E included a Saturday game of the week on Lifetime.

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