After partnering with the National Women’s Soccer League last month for domestic rights to some of the remaining 2019 matches, ESPN has signed a multiyear deal with the league for exclusive worldwide rights. The deal includes rights to playoff matches across the network’s linear and digital platforms.
“This is an important step for NWSL to strengthen the league’s reach through ESPN’s international network,” NWSL president Amanda Duffy said in a statement issued by the league. “Expanding the network’s distribution internationally will continue to elevate the profile and visibility of NWSL around the world.”
ESPN aired Sky Blue’s Wednesday victory over the Chicago Red Stars internationally. Coverage continues Saturday with a doubleheader. The Orlando Pride host the Utah Royals at 7:30 p.m. ET, and the Portland Thorns are home to the Washington Spirit at 10:30 p.m.
“As a brand, ESPN leads the way in delivering world-class soccer content to fans around the world,” Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president of programming and acquisitions said. “We are thrilled to be able to leverage ESPN’s global reach to bring NWSL’s regular-season and playoff matches to soccer audiences worldwide.”
ESPN will air 30 regular-season matches internationally in 2019, covering the majority of remaining fixtures this season.