On Thursday, the NWSL officially announced its slate of new media rights agreements with Amazon, CBS Sports, ESPN, and Scripps Sports.

The NWSL’s release notes 118 matches will air nationally in each season of the four-year deal. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the NWSL will make $60 million annually in total from the four rights deals.

Amazon’s end of the deal consists of Friday night games on Prime Video. Specifically, the streamer will air a total of 27 matches –  a season-opening kickoff game, 25 Friday night matches, and one playoff quarterfinal match.

CBS will air a minimum of 21 games across its platforms each season. At least 10 regular season games will air on the CBS broadcast network and can be streamed on Paramount+. Another eight regular season games will air on CBS Sports Network, and will not (as is the standard with CBSSN) be available to be streamed on Paramount+. The CBS broadcast network will also air one playoff quarterfinal, one semifinal, and the NWSL Championship, all of which can be streamed on Paramount+.

ESPN gets 20 matches each season, 17 regular season games, two quarterfinals, and one semifinal, which will air on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2. All matches can be streamed on ESPN+ in either English or Spanish, per ESPN’s release.

Finally, there is Scripps, which has the most volume of any partner in the deal. The company will air 25 weekly Saturday night doubleheaders on Ion, with matches kicking off at 7:30 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET. Coverage kicks off each Saturday with a studio show at 7 p.m. ET. Scripps will also air the 2024 NWSL Draft.

The NWSL’s release also mentions that the remaining matches “will be part of a domestic direct-to-consumer package produced and distributed by the NWSL,” details of which have yet to be announced.

While the NWSL’s media rights are more fractured now thanks to this series of agreements, the league is bringing in far more money through these new deals. CBS was reportedly paying just $1.5 million per season, a far cry from the reported new total of $60 million annually from the four networks. And while the full schedule for each network has yet to be announced, there’s at least consistency with the Prime Video and Ion components of the deal, bringing games each Friday and Saturday night to the two platforms.

Scripps’ end of the deal is somewhat similar to its deal with the WNBA signed in the spring, which brought a consistent Friday night window to the network throughout the year. Next year, Ion will have back-to-back nights of live women’s sports with the WNBA on Friday and the NWSL on Saturday.

News of the NWSL’s rights deals was first reported last month.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.