NWSL announces media deals with CBS Sports, ESPN, Amazon worth $240 million

Business

Carli Lloyd of NJ/NY Gotham FC battles for control against in the second half of the NWSL Match against Sydney Leroux of Orlando Pride at Red Bull Arena on August 29, 2021.
Ira L. Black – Corbis | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

The National Women’s Soccer League announced a four-year contract Thursday for media distribution with CBS Sports, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video and Scripps Sports.

The contract, set to begin in 2024, includes agreements for 118 national windows on the media channels, the league said, which is expected to generate “record-breaking distribution and revenue.” The NWSL will begin each regular-season weekend with Friday night matches on Prime Video, followed by double-header Saturday night games on Scripps’-owned ION network.

The league will also air a package of regular-season matches on CBS and stream live on Paramount+. Additionally, ESPN will air a package of matches across its various channels, including live streaming on ESPN+ in English and Spanish.

The remainder of the NWSL’s regular-season matches will be part of a direct-to-consumer package, the league added.

The deal is set at $60 million per year, totaling $240 million for the term of the deal, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.

It amounts to a 40-times multiple from NWSL’s previous agreement, the league said.

“These partnerships fundamentally change the game for our league and the players who take the pitch each week,” NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. “We have taken great care to ensure our games are discoverable by increasing our reach in order to expose new audiences to everything that makes our league special, without compromising the economic value of our product. This is the beginning of our future.”

CBS will air a minimum of 21 games, ESPN and ABC will air 20 games, Prime Video will air 27 games and Scripps will air 50, according to the league.

— CNBC’s Jessica Golden contributed to this report.

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