The National Women’s Soccer League has reached an agreement with ESPNews to broadcast six Games of the Week during the current season, replacing games previously set to air on Lifetime.
All six ESPNews games will kick off in the evening, partially solving a major complaint among NWSL players about Lifetime Game of the Week matchups that started at 3:50 p.m. EST during intense summer heat and humidity.
Lifetime will still broadcast four other NWSL games, with three of them still set to start at 3:50 p.m. The other remaining regular-season Lifetime match — between the Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign FC on Friday, Sept. 7 — will air in the evening for the first time since the network partnered with NWSL. Kickoff for the Cascadia clash will be at 10 p.m. at Providence Park.
The Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns and Washington Spirit all will appear in three matches airing on ESPNews. Here are the matches the network is taking over broadcasting:
• Portland Thorns at Chicago Red Stars | June 16 at 8:08 p.m.
• Orlando Pride at Washington Spirit | June 23 at 7:08 p.m.
• Washington Spirit at Orlando Pride | July 7 at 7:38 p.m.
• Orlando Pride at Utah Royals | July 14 at 7:08 p.m.
• Chicago Red Stars at Portland Thorns | Aug. 18 at 10:38 p.m.
• Portland Thorns at Washington Spirit | Aug. 25 at 7:38 p.m.
Lifetime also will continue to broadcast the NWSL Championship Game Sept. 22 at Providence Park. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m.
Jenn Hildreth and Aly Wagner will continue to serve as the lead broadcasters for the ESPNews and Lifetime games, while sideline reporter Dalen Cuff will continue his work on the pitch and will host a 20-minute pregame show that will be streamed on the NWSL Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages and via subscription on the ESPN App. Angela Hucles will fill in July 7 when Wagner is slated to become the first woman to call a men’s World Cup game in English in the United States.
Updated 2018 NWSL Game of the Week Schedule: (All times Eastern)
|Date||Pregame||Kickoff||Home Team||Visiting Team||TV|
|June 16||8 p.m.||8:08 p.m.||Chicago Red Stars||Portland Thorns FC||ESPNews|
|June 23||7:00 p.m.||7:08 p.m.||Washington Spirit||Orlando Pride||ESPNews|
|June 30||3:30 p.m.||3:50 p.m.||Orlando Pride||North Carolina Courage||Lifetime|
|July 7||7:30 p.m.||7:38 p.m.||Orlando Pride||Washington Spirit||ESPNews|
|July 14||7:00 p.m.||7:08 p.m.||Utah Royals FC||Orlando Pride||ESPNews|
|July 21||3:30 p.m.||3:50 p.m.||Orlando Pride||Seattle Reign FC||Lifetime|
|August 11||3:30 p.m.||3:50 p.m.||Utah Royals FC||Seattle Reign FC||Lifetime|
|August 18||10:30 p.m.||10:38 p.m.||Portland Thorns FC||Chicago Red Stars||ESPNews|
|August 25||7:30 p.m.||7:38 p.m.||Washington Spirit||Portland Thorns FC||ESPNews|
|September 7||10 p.m.||10:04 p.m.||Portland Thorns FC||Seattle Reign FC||Lifetime|