NWSL has finally announced how fans can watch livestreams of non-TV broadcast games: by using streaming service go90. go90 describes itself as a “free, mobile-first, social entertainment platform.” It’s also ad-supported, meaning this is a revenue stream for NWSL that they weren’t getting by using Youtube. Youtube was free and is obviously one of if not the most widely-used streaming platforms, but NWSL wasn’t making money off of it.
Games will be live and on-demand and fans can watch without needing to register, per the league’s press release. Vista WorldLink is producing all games in HD and there will be pre-, half-, and post-game shows. The service will also be available to international fans outside the United States.
Unfortunately go90 doesn’t have a desktop app and if you want to watch it on your TV, you’ll need a compatible casting device. Currently go90 is can cast via Airplay with Apple TV and via Google Chromecast. You can find the app for ioS or Android on the App Store or through Google Play. On-demand games will probably be available on your desktop through the website, though, considering the TV shows currently on the site that are also on-demand.
Does all this sound like gibberish because you are An Old or you just haven’t cut the cord yet?
- Download the go90 app on the App Store or through Google Play. You can watch the games on your phone live.
- If you want to watch on your TV, you need a Chromecast device or Apple TV (2nd generation or later).
- The games will have an option to “cast” to your device. It’s pretty simple to just tap the cast option and sync your device with your TV.
- Yell at your team.
It looks like go90 is the only option for US fans, but international fans will still be able to watch games through NWSLSoccer.com. There will also be an NWSL app for international fans.
Is this a great move? The upside of youtube is that it was incredibly easy to use and there were zero barriers to access. The downside is, of course, the lack of a revenue stream. At this point NWSL and A+E obviously find it worth it to use a more obscure streaming service that does require a certain amount of financial commitment through hardware buy-in (a regular old Chromecast will cost you $35 while the Ultra for 4K TVs is $69). If they manage to capture numbers similar to Youtube while continuing to grow in-person ticket sales, then this could end up working out, assuming Verizon doesn’t give up on go90.
The NWSL season kicks off this weekend on Saturday, April 15. The first game you can watch on go90 will be Houston vs Chicago at 2 PM ET, followed by Washington vs North Carolina, Seattle vs Sky Blue, and on Sunday, FC Kansas City vs Boston.