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