The National Women’s Soccer League’s television viewership grew 500% year-over-year in 2020. It also saw success on social and digital media during the year, with social platform mentions growing 152% and “traditional news media coverage” up 55%.
Thanks to the league’s new domestic broadcast deal with CBS Sports, every match of the Challenge Cup was broadcast or streamed live, including two on CBS. For the fall series, one “game of the week” aired live on CBS or CBS Sports Network throughout the seven-week tournament, with others streaming on CBS All Access. The NWSL also has an international streaming deal with Twitch.
Broadcasts of the fall series specifically averaged 383,000 viewers, but overall CBS coverage peaked at 653,000 for the league’s Challenge Cup final in July — which aired on CBS. The league’s previous record was 190,000, set in 2014.