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NWSL reaches television deal with ESPN for 14 games

July 4, 2019
FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2018, file photo, North Carolina Courage players celebrate their NWSL soccer title victory over the Portland Thorns in Portland, Ore. The National Women's Soccer League has a television contract for the second half of its season to replace the partnership with A+E Networks that was cut short a year early by the broadcaster in February. ESPN will televise 14 matches, the network said Thursday, July 4, 2019. (Adam Lapierre/The Oregonian via AP, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2018, file photo, North Carolina Courage players celebrate their NWSL soccer title victory over the Portland Thorns in Portland, Ore. The National Women's Soccer League has a television contract for the second half of its season to replace the partnership with A+E Networks that was cut short a year early by the broadcaster in February. ESPN will televise 14 matches, the network said Thursday, July 4, 2019. (Adam Lapierre/The Oregonian via AP, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — The National Women’s Soccer League has a television contract for the second half of its season to replace the partnership with A+E Networks that was cut short a year early by the broadcaster in February.

ESPN announced Thursday that it will televise 14 matches in its first NWSL broadcasts since 2014. Eight games will be broadcast on ESPN News and six on ESPN2, including both semifinals and the championship on Oct. 27.

The first game will be July 14 between Portland and Orlando on ESPN News.

Fox agreed to televise six regular-season games and three postseason matches on FS2 in the NWSL’s initial season in 2013, and the league switched the following year to ESPN, which televised three regular-season games and three playoff matches on ESPN2 plus three matches with digital coverage.

Fox broadcast six games on FS1 during the second half of 2015, including three regular-season games and all three postseason matches, plus four more on digital platforms. FS1 televised three regular-season games and three postseason games in 2016.

NWSL’s partnership with A+E included a Saturday game of the week on Lifetime.

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