The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) looks set to reach new audiences as Amazon’s streaming platform Twitch has the rights to 24 league matches during the 2020 season and all matches for an international audience.
CBS Sports has the rights to all other NWSL matches in the US, in a deal that covers the next three seasons.
This deal with CBS is the first time women’s professional club soccer will be aired live by a US broadcast network.
In a press release outlining the deal, the NWSL also said they will collaborate with Twitch to create additional league and player-related content “to enhance the overall fan-viewing experience and continue to grow women’s professional soccer around the world”.
Twitch is traditionally devoted to gaming streaming, so this deal shows how Amazon hopes to develop the platform moving forwards as a sports platform.
Lisa Baird, the NWSL commissioner said: “This new media-rights agreement is a watershed moment for women’s soccer in the U.S. and around the world and is the first time NWSL matches will be available to such a wide audience.
“We are excited to work with CBS with its rich history, tradition and storied innovation to utilize the power of their multiple platforms to reach more fans. We also are eager to team up with Twitch to showcase the brightest stars in the sport. These partnerships will continue to amplify the NWSL and its teams on a national and international stage.”
Michael Aragon of Twitch said: “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the NWSL as we further expand our sports content on Twitch.”
“Their players are the greatest athletes in their sport from around the world and we are thrilled the NWSL chose Twitch as their home to build a bigger community of soccer enthusiasts.”
Similarly, CBS Sports Digital’s vice president Jeffrey Gerttula echoed this, explaining the hope “to help expand the reach of women’s soccer throughout the U.S. and Canada.”
The NWSL is due to start on Saturday 18 April with OL Reign facing Washington Spirit followed by a rematch of the 2019 championship game between Chicago Red Stars and North Carolina Courage.
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