CHICAGO (AP) — The National Women’s Soccer League and A+E Networks have mutually ended their partnership.
A+E acquired a 25 percent equity stake in the NWSL and Lifetime became the league’s broadcast partner in 2017. The original deal ran through 2019 but the league announced Wednesday that it was ending early, effective immediately.
As a result, games will no longer be shown on Lifetime. Instead, fans in the United States can watch games streamed on Yahoo Sports. Verizon, Yahoo’s parent company, is in the final year of a digital media deal with the league.
NWSL President Amanda Duffy says she expects the league will come to terms soon with a new national broadcast partner for the upcoming season, when there will likely be greater interest in women’s soccer because of the World Cup in France.
“We have stronger ownership, and our owners now having full control and full equity of both the league itself and its commercial arm, NWSL Media, puts us in the strongest position for the best possible future,” she said.
A+E will continue as a league sponsor and players will continue to wear Lifetime patches on their jerseys through 2019.