NWSL to make major announcement Thursday with A+E Networks

On Tuesday, the National Women’s Soccer League announced a press conference with A+E Networks scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 2. NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush, U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati and A+E Networks President and CEO Nancy Dubuc will likely reveal the league’s new television deal.

At the 2017 NWSL College Draft, Plush had promised something in the works and an incoming announcement, but didn’t say much. There was one hint, however, that it’s a big step up from previous deals the league has made before. “I have very high level of confidence that we will have a TV deal that’ll be significantly more robust than we’ve had in the past,” he told media.

The event will also be attended by plenty of NWSL talent. Here’s the full list of players on-hand for the announcement:

  • Rose Lavelle, Boston Breakers midfielder and 2017 no. 1 overall draft pick
  • Stephanie McCaffrey, Chicago Red Stars forward
  • Kristie Mewis, Washington Spirit midfielder
  • Samantha Mewis, North Carolina Courage midfielder
  • Alyssa Naeher, Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper
  • Christie Rampone, Sky Blue FC defender
  • Lynn Williams, North Carolina Courage forward and 2016 NWSL MVP and top scorer

A+E Networks is a joint venture between Hearst and the Disney-ABC Television Group, and includes 11 television channels, including A&E, Lifetime and Viceland. The same ownership partners also own ESPN, though it’s unclear if there could be any overlap between the A+E deal and the sports network.

Details are still scarce on the specifics of what’s to come, and as of now it remains unclear how a new broadcast deal would affect streaming of NWSL games—including international streams.

[More from Excelle Sports: NWSL minimum salary to double for fifth season]

The National Women’s Soccer League will also live-stream the press conference on YouTube on Thursday morning.

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