The National Women’s Soccer League and the A&E Networks made odd history Wednesday when they announced the partnership would end with one year left on the contract. As a result, the NWSL (which kicks off in less than two months) does not have a TV partner for the 2019 season. What made the news even more interesting was the general positive attitude that came from the NWSL when league president Amanda Duffy called the split a “Win-Win.”
The deal was set in place prior to the 2017 season with the A&E Networks slated to receive 25% equity from the league. It’s easy to see how executives on the A&E side might be pleased, as ratings weren’t great and they now save themselves a season’s worth of production costs. However, outside of receiving their equity back – it’s tough to see this abrupt break up as a “Win” for the NWSL.
There are sources who calm the league is in talks with NBCSN – but with matches scheduled for the 2nd weekend of April, it seems implausible that even a network as powerful as NBC could prepare for productions across the country – leaving the NWSL with very little visibility nationwide.