The NWSL released its full 2022 schedule last week, announcing the streaming and tv schedules for the year, as the league is ready to return by the end of the month. This year, NWSL games will primarily stream on Paramount+ and Twitch, with some airing on CBS Sports Network.
“We are eager to kick off yet another thrilling regular season in the NWSL, with all 137 of our matches available to broadcast viewers in the U.S. and around the world,” interim CEO Marla Messing said in a statement. “This landmark 10th campaign represents an exciting milestone for our sport, and we have many to thank for helping us establish the NWSL as a premier fixture in professional soccer.”
On Friday, April 29, the season kicks off as Natalie Portman’s Angel City FC plays its first-ever game, hosting the North Carolina Courage in Los Angeles at 10:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
The defending champions, Washington Spirit, begin play on Sunday, May 1, as they raise a banner vs. OL Reign on Paramount+. Shortly after, the Spirit will face off against the Chicago Red Stars in a 2021 NWSL Championship rematch on May 7 on Twitch.
After the season opener, the next CBS Sports Network game will be on May 13, a contest between Cascadian rivals the Portland Thorns and the OL Reign.
The season will go through October, with the 2022 NWSL Championship set for October 29, 2022, on CBS Sports Network. You can see the full 2022 schedule here. Although, NWSL teams are currently participating in the Challenge Cup. The tournament will overlap with the regular season for a week and conclude on May 7.
Should NWSL fans be happy?
There’s pressure from multiple directions for more games on broadcast TV, but two regular-season games are at least maintaining momentum on that front. There are some valid questions about the Wave being a part of CBS’s big matches, plus no OL Reign games at home at Lumen Field.
There are not a lot of surprises here — but hopes were high for some signs of additional investment on CBS’ part. Either way, the most significant focus still needs to be on streaming quality and ensuring the field product is presented professionally.
What’s the viewership goal for the upcoming season?
The big Challenge Cup expansion battle on big CBS between San Diego and Angel City averaged 456,000 viewers ahead of the international break. The NWSL has broken the 500K mark before, but the goal has to be breaking it regularly on CBS and aiming for an even larger target.
The NWSL and CBS need to make sure people know the games will be on CBS — starting with planting that information across every platform and putting real marketing dollars behind it.
What NWSL games are must-sees?
Leaving aside the reality that NWSL is often a chaotic league where you don’t know when a game will go full tilt. However, based on what we’ve seen so far in the Challenge Cup, among the games that are airing nationally on TV, some safer bets for a fun time are:
- Portland Thorns hosting OL Reign on May 13 at Providence Park
- Gotham FC is hosting San Diego Wave on June 19 at Red Bull Arena
- Portland Thorns hosting North Carolina Courage on August 5 at Providence Park