It's hardly the kind of deal that will suddenly make the NWSL a longterm viable league, but the fledgling league has a new national broadcast deal (and it looks very similar to last year's deal with Fox Soccer). The NWSL and ESPN announced the limited arrangement on Wednesday, which calls for three regular-season games and all three playoff games to appear on ESPN2 with three more matches being shown online at ESPN3. The Seattle Reign will appear on two of the three ESPN3 games, but the earliest they'd appear on TV is the playoffs.
A quick glance at the schedule of games shows a clear trend: the MLS-partnered Portland Thorns and Houston Dash will host the bulk of these games, with the only exception being the Aug. 13 game between the Western New York Flash and Sky Blue FC that will air on ESPN2.
The Reign's two ESPN3 appearances will be at Houston on July 30 and at Portland on Aug. 17. If the Reign make the playoffs, which seems like a distinct possibility at this point, they'll get two chances to be on national TV as both semifinal matches and the championship game are scheduled for ESPN2. The Aug. 17 match against the Thorns will also be shown on Comcast SportsNet Northwest. It was not immediately clear if the ESPN3 games would also be shown on YouTube.