The NWSL and Lifetime have announced the 2017 broadcast schedule that includes three Washington Spirit games. The NWSL announced during the offseason that the upcoming 2017 season would be making history, as the league landed a deal with Lifetime TV to televise games throughout the season, unlike in previous years when only the postseason and very few regular season matches were televised. The addition of consistent and reliable coverage on an accessible tv network will bring more attention to the league than YouTube streams could. The game of the week will kick-off every Saturday at 4 pm after a 30-minute pregame show. The broadcast team will consist of Jenn Hildreth, Aly Wagner, Dalen Cuff, and Kate Markgraf, who will all add to the quality of the broadcast with their years of experience covering international women’s soccer events and the Olympics. All of the Spirit’s televised games are away and are nearly evenly spaced throughout the season.
On April 22nd, the match against the Orlando Pride will be the first televised out of the new Orlando City Stadium. The 2016 expansion team’s brand new home will be the perfect place to host one of the early season match-of-the-weeks.
On June 17th the Spirit will travel to Chicago and take on the Chicago Red Stars at Toyota Park. The two teams previously met in a tight semi-final match last fall in which the Spirit narrowly edged out their opponent for a spot in the NWSL final. This match will likely be competitive and exciting, providing a quality game for all fans and viewers, serious or casual as the season gets into full swing.
On August 19th, the team will take on the North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park in a rematch of the 2016 NWSL Final that left fans on the edge of their seats until the very last second of the penalty shootout. While the players of the Courage are all faces that the Spirit have seen before, this will be only the second time they play them in their new home in North Carolina under their new team name.
Although only three matches will be televised, all other games will still be streamed on the NWSL YouTube channel weekly.