CBS is the front-runner to gain the broadcast rights to the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States, according to multiple reports.
According to Sports Illustrated, more than a dozen NWSL games are expected to be shown on CBS linear platforms this year, including on the main CBS network. Out-of-market games are expected to be available on the subscription streaming platform CBS All Access.
NBC/Telemundo and beIN Sports were also believed to be in the running to secure NWSL rights. An official announcement is expected soon.
Following the Women’s World Cup last summer, the NWSL secured a short-term media rights deal with ESPN. The NWSL then appointed Octagon as a consultant to advise the league on its media- and marketing-rights strategy globally for the next three seasons.
It was reported in December that the NWSL and Octagon were seeking a minimum three-year commitment from English- and Spanish-language broadcast partners in the US to ensure the league’s long-term growth.
CBS, meanwhile, is deepening its ties to soccer after a lengthy absence. In November, CBS secured the English-language rights to the Uefa Champions League from the 2021-22 season through 2023-24.
The Champions League is the first major soccer property that CBS has landed since it aired the original North American Soccer League in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the 1974 World Cup. It was also confirmed that CBS had won the rights to the Europa League, and the newly-created European Conference League as well.