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How U.S. Women Fare On Pitch Will Determine Key TV Windows

  • The USWNT will play a mix of primetime games and early morning matches.
  • Time zone differences may have led to less interest from European broadcast partners.
Fox Sports

American fans tuning into the Women’s World Cup will endure a complicated viewing experience trying to follow the action from Australia and New Zealand — over a dozen time zones ahead of the U.S..

Time differences are likely one reason FIFA reportedly missed its mark on media rights revenue for the tournament by $100 million. Outside of a few handpicked matches, most games will take place in the middle of the night for the U.S. and early morning in Europe — where FIFA greatly struggled to find broadcast partners. 

The USWNT gets a pair of 9 p.m. ET group-stage matchups against Vietnam on Friday and Netherlands on July 26, but faces Portugal at 3 a.m. ET on Aug. 1. If the U.S. wins its group, it’ll get primetime games in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, while a second-place finish would garner middle-of-the-night matches. 

Either way, the semifinals and final start at 6 a.m. ET or earlier.

Fox is showing the World Cup in the U.S. as part of an overarching — and controversial — deal with FIFA extending its original $425 million contract for events from 2015-22 at a slight price markup. Overall, FIFA is bringing in $200 million in media fees, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Docuseries In The Making

Netflix is following the USWNT in Australia and New Zealand, filming a docuseries on the team’s efforts for a third-straight World Cup title that will be released this fall.

All key players will be featured in the show — including co-captain Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who is playing in her final World Cup.

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