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NWSL Signs Deals With CBS, Twitch

“The press release states coverage of the 2020 NWSL will begin Saturday, Apr. 18. As of Thursday night, the NWSL still plans to kick off their 2020 season as scheduled, but coronavirus concerns can certainly alter the start date.”

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The National Women’s Soccer League landed a multiyear broadcast deal with CBS Sports and Twitch. All NWSL matches will air across multiple platforms which includes the CBS broadcast network, CBS Sports Network, CBS All-Access and Twitch, which is not an entity of CBS.

“This new media-rights agreement is a watershed moment for women’s soccer in the U.S. and around the world and is the first time NWSL matches will be available to such a wide audience,” said NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird. “We are excited to work with CBS with its rich history, tradition and storied innovation to utilize the power of their multiple platforms to reach more fans.  We also are eager to team up with Twitch to showcase the brightest stars in the sport. These partnerships will continue to amplify the NWSL and its teams on a national and international stage.”

According to the announcement, the league’s season opener and championship game will air on CBS, 14 matches will be available on CBS Sports Network, with CBS All Access carrying 71 matches. CBS All Access is an OTT subscription streaming service, which means fans will have to pay for those 71 matches. Twitch, however, will stream 24 NWSL matches for free while also serving as the league’s international media rights partner. All regular season matches, playoffs and the championship game will be available to viewers outside of the United States via Twitch. 

The NWSL partnership with Twitch also depicts continued efforts by Amazon to acquire sports broadcast rights. The live streaming service is a subsidiary of the e-commerce giant. 

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the NWSL as we further expand our sports content on Twitch,” said Michael Aragon, SVP of Content at Twitch. “Their players are the greatest athletes in their sport from around the world and we are thrilled the NWSL chose Twitch as their home to build a bigger community of soccer enthusiasts.”

The press release states coverage of the 2020 NWSL will begin Saturday, Apr. 18. As of Thursday night, the NWSL still plans to kick off their 2020 season as scheduled, but coronavirus concerns can certainly alter the start date.

Sports TV News

Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Sports TV News

Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer

“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”

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According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.

Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.

The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.

The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options. 

NFL+ would make NFL Media more valuable. The league is trying to sell an equity stake in its linear TV and digital media properties. Amazon and Apple are considered the most likely to make a deal. 

A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.

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