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NWSL on the Big Stage: ESPN Signs Groundbreaking TV Deal

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For the first time in NWSL history, the ESPN networks will air regular season and postseason matches, bringing exposure the women's side of the world's most beautiful game.

A partnership with ESPN serves as a milestone for NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey (left)
A partnership with ESPN serves as a milestone for NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey (left)
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Just one-and-a-half seasons into a highly successful soccer debut, the NWSL has "made it big." Beginning on July 20, when the Breakers visit Portland to take on the defending champion Thorns, nine NWSL matches will air on the ESPN networks, including a pair of semifinal contests and August's Championship match.

Finally, women's soccer will receive the attention it has long since deserved.

"We are very excited to announce our new agreement with ESPN," NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey said. "In the midst of our second season, we are striving to provide our fans with improved access to our league matches and airing our games on ESPN2 and ESPN3 will give us a broader platform to expose fans to the amazing caliber of women's soccer in the NWSL. We also hope to create new fans who will appreciate the amazing athletes and personalities in our league."

Now, more than 92 million households will have access to NWSL soccer, streamed live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.

"This agreement with the NWSL represents ESPN's continued commitment to soccer and to top level women's sports," said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN Senior Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions. "We are excited to showcase this new league and feature some of the best female soccer players in the world leading in to the 2015 FIFA World Cup."

2014 NWSL National Television Schedule:

Date

Home Team

Away Team

Time (ET)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Portland Thorns FC

Boston Breakers

5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Houston Dash

Seattle Reign FC

9:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Portland Thorns FC

Houston Dash

10:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Houston Dash

Sky Blue FC

9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Western New York Flash

Sky Blue FC

7:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Portland Thorns FC

Seattle Reign FC

5:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Semifinal

1:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Semifinal

3:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Championship

3:00 p.m.