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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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NWSL Reportedly Secures New Media Rights Deals As Popularity Soars

  • League to boost exposure significantly with broad-based set of deals.
  • Megan Rapinoe plays final home game for OL Reign.
Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

In yet another inflection point for the fast-growing NWSL, the league has reportedly struck a major set of media rights deals that will significantly boost its presence on network, cable, and local television and digitally. 

The league has finalized four-year agreements with ESPN, CBS, Amazon, and Scripps Sports, initially reported by Sportico, to expand its reach and exposure. These agreements’ formal completion and announcement are anticipated in the coming weeks.

The value of the deals is still unknown, but the collective deals are said to be at least 10 times larger than the $1.5 million annually the keague currently gets from CBS. The NWSL is completing these deals as women’s soccer hits a high point following the 2023 Women’s World Cup, as well as expanded viewership for the league itself, and the NWSL will be able to hit the market again after the 2027 Women’s World Cup.

The media deals also follow a growing league expansion plan that saw the recent announcement of a new franchise in Boston to join previously disclosed ones in the Bay Area and Utah.

Farewell To An Icon

In another history-making moment for the NWSL, the league drew a record crowd of 34,130 on Friday at Seattle’s Lumen Field for the last home match for OL Reign star and U.S. Women’s National team icon Megan Rapinoe. 

The match featured tributes from Ken Griffey Jr., Magic Johnson, Billie Jean King, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Abby Wambach, as well as a 30-minute ceremony after the match. Many fans wore pink wigs in Rapinoe’s honor. 

Before this summer’s WWC, the 38-year-old Rapinoe said she would retire from the game.

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