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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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NWSL Is Latest League to Experiment with RedZone-Style Show

  • CBS Sports Network will televise a live whiparound show for NWSL Decision Day.
  • The NWSL is enjoying unprecedented success on television and in-person during its 11th season.
Angel City FC defender Paige Nielsen plays the ball against the Portland Thorns FC in the first half at BMO Stadium.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The National Women’s Soccer League is finishing its season in style with whiparound coverage.

On Sunday — dubbed NWSL Decision Day — all 12 teams will play at the same time (5 p.m. ET) with multiple playoff spots on the line. For the occasion, CBS Sports Network will air a live NFL RedZone-style whiparound program showcasing all six matches.

Analyst and “Attacking Third” host Lisa Carlin will act as the ringleader for the coverage. “Attacking Third” — CBS Sports’ women’s soccer brand that recently launched a show on Golazo Network — will also host a live pregame show. 

All of Sunday’s matches will be individually available on Paramount+, with the Angel City FC-Portland Thorns showdown being simulcast on Golazo Network.

The NWSL is enjoying unprecedented success on television and in-person during its 11th season. 

Halfway through the season in June, game attendance was up 48% and viewership on CBS was up 21% from the same time a year prior. Last year’s championship game — a 2-0 win for the Thorns over Kansas City Current — was the most-watched game in NWSL history with 915,000 viewers.

The acute uptick in popularity led the league to reportedly sign a new media rights deal with CBS, ESPN, Amazon, and Scripps Sports rumored to be cumulatively worth at least 10 times the $1.5 million annual fee it currently charges CBS. 

CBS Sports is familiar with running whiparound shows, especially when it comes to soccer. Since 2020, the company has aired “The Golazo Show” during the early rounds of UEFA Champions League, allowing fans to see every goal from every game.

It’s a format leagues across the country are emulating with more frequency: Last week, ESPN announced it will televise a whiparound show for the NHL on Oct. 24 when all 32 teams will be in action.

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