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NWSL Has a Broadcast Deal: Reign on Cable at Least Once

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Fox displays great affection for Portland and Houston in a limited broadcast contract that covers the league through the end of the 2015 playoffs.

Mike Russell

After a long wait, the NWSL's television broadcast deal was finally announced this week. An agreement was being sold as just around the corner for the entire season (and preseason), but it took until halfway through the season for it to get worked out. Like last year, the agreement is with Fox and they'll be showing the three playoff games and three regular season games on Fox Sports One. In addition, they've agreed to 'broadcast' four regular season games on their Fox Sports Go streaming service.

An interesting twist is that the seven regular season matches will be broadcast from just two home venues: four at the home of the Portland Thorns and three at the Houston Dash. Probably not coincidentally, both are MLS facilities with excellent broadcasting infrastructure and teams that are league attendance leaders (the Thorns by a lot), which should help the atmosphere.

That means no home games broadcast for the Reign, at least until the playoffs. But Seattle does appear twice as a road team. Their July 22nd match at Portland will be streamed on Fox Sports Go as the first game under the new contract. And on August 21st their match at Houston (in delightful weather, no doubt) will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

The deal also involved changing the playoff dates. Presumably to cater to Fox's wishes, the final has been pushed back to Thursday, October 1. A midweek final will be more difficult to attend and will create an 18 day break between the semifinals and the championship match, but the league is still in no position to argue with a broadcast partner.

Here's the full schedule:

2015 NWSL National Television Schedule:

Date Home Team Away Team Time (ET) TV
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 Portland Thorns FC Seattle Reign FC 10:00 PM FSGO
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Houston Dash FC Kansas City 8:30 PM FSGO
Wednesday, August 5, 2015 Portland Thorns FC Boston Breakers 10:00 PM FSGO
Friday, August 7, 2015 Houston Dash Sky Blue FC 8:30 PM FSGO
Sunday, August 9, 2015 Portland Thorns FC Chicago Red Stars 9:30 PM FS1
Friday, August 21, 2015 Houston Dash Seattle Reign FC 8:00 PM FS1
Sunday, August 30, 2015 Portland Thorns FC Washington Spirit 9:30 PM FS1
Sunday, September 13, 2015 Semifinal 1 TBD FS1
Sunday, September 13, 2015 Semifinal 2 TBD FS1
Thursday, October 1, 2015 Final TBD FS1