Oct 2, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Orlando Pride forward Ally Watt (11) shoots the ball against Angel City FC during the first half at BMO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After letting its media rights go to the open market, the National Women’s Soccer League has been paid back in spades. As its current deal with Paramount Global (CBS, CBS Sports Network, CBS Sports Golazo Network, Paramount+) is expiring, the NWSL is being rewarded with a new four-year contract with multiple partners, ESPN, CBS, Amazon and Scripps. It would end in 2027.

Sportico reports that the NWSL will see a significant increase in its current rights fee of $1.5 million annually from Paramount. While the monetary terms of the new deal have not been released, Sportico says the deal will not only give the league more platforms to have its games seen, but provide it much needed financial stability:

The NWSL’s current CBS deal pays about $1.5 million per year, but it requires that the league foot the bill for game production, which is an eight-figure annual expense. These deals are significantly higher than 10x that topline CBS fee, according to sources. That also would put it well about the reported annual haul for the Women’s Super League in Europe.

As the previous contract had only one media partner, this provides the league with a wider reach and exposure. Compare this to Major League Soccer’s deal with Apple which is mainly exclusive to Apple TV+ with minimal exposure on Fox/FS1 in the United States and TSN in Canada.

NWSL currently has twelve teams and recently announced expansion in three markets: Boston, San Francisco and Utah.

It plans to announce one more expansion franchise which would bring its total to sixteen teams.

The new media deal allows the NWSL to puts its rights on the open market right after the 2027 Women’s World Cup.  With four media partners, the league’s games should be easier to find especially with ESPN and CBS in tow. In addition, Amazon expands its U.S. sports portfolio adding NWSL to the NFL, WNBA, ONE Fighting Championship and Pickleball.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.