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How to watch the NWSL

NWSL
(Image credit: Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 2021 season of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is underway, giving soccer fans to watch and root for some of the best soccer players in the world when they’re not competing for the USWNT or other international clubs, including Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Brazil’s Marta and Debinha, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle.

The NWSL was founded in 2012 and currently features 10 teams: Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, Kansas City, NJ/NY Gotham FC, North Carolina Courage, OL Reign, Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, Racing Louisville FC and Washington Spirit.

The 2021 season, which began in May, will continue through October, with the 2021 NWSL playoffs scheduled to begin on Nov. 6 and the NWSL Championship slated to be on Nov. 20.

For the full NWSL schedule, as well as season standings and statistics, visit www.nwslsoccer.com. Here’s a quick look at the schedule for the rest of August 2021:

Aug. 13
Houston Dash vs. Washington Spirit, 8:30 p.m. ET, Twitch

Aug. 14
Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus
Kansas City vs. OL Reign, 8 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus

Aug. 15
NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Racing Louisville FC, 5 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus
North Carolina Courage vs. Chicago Red Stars, 6 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus

Aug. 18
Racing Louisville FC vs. Chicago Red Stars, 7:30 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus

Aug. 21
North Carolina Courage vs. Kansas City, 7 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus
OL Reign vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 10 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus

Aug. 22
Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride, 4 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

Aug. 25
Kansas City vs. Racing Louisville FC, 8 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus
Portland Thorns FC vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 10:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

Aug. 28
Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City, 8 p.m. ET, Twitch

Aug. 29
Washington Spirit vs. North Carolina Courage, 5 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus
NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Orlando Pride, 5:30 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus
OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus
Houston Dash vs. Racing Louisville FC, 7:30 p.m. ET, Paramount Plus

How to watch the NWSL

The NWSL currently has a broadcast/streaming deal with CBS and Twitch to present all of its games. As you can see from the schedule above, NWSL’s regular season games are shown on a mix of Paramount Plus, CBS Sports Network and Twitch. On occasion (most likely for the playoffs or the championship game), the NWSL could be broadcast on the main CBS network.

As far as how to tune in for games, for any on Paramount Plus that will require a subscription to the streaming service. The base Paramount Plus plan is $4.99 per month; it does come with ads and does not feature your local CBS affiliate. If you want to remove ads, the monthly fee is bumped up to $9.99. An additional programming note, Paramount Plus is also the streaming home for The Women’s Cup, a mini four-team tournament including the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars and Racing Louisville FC and international clubs FC Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. 

Games on the CBS Sports Network require that you have a cable subscription that carries the channel. Viewers watch games on their TV if they have a traditional cable subscription that includes CBS Sports Network, or with YouTube TV, Fubo TV and Hulu with Live TV, if they’ve cut the cord. CBS Sports Network can also be watched online (cbssports.com) as long as you subscribe to a service that offers the channel. 

Twitch, meanwhile, is a video live streaming service that primarily presents video game streaming, but also features a dedicated sports vertical, which includes live streams of NWSL games. It is free to start streaming via Twitch, but there are fees to subscribe to certain channels. Twitch is available internationally. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.