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Volume 26 No. 206
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NWSL Taps Octagon To Help Sell New Media Deal

The NWSL has hired Octagon to "help sell its next media rights package," according to John Ourand in this week's SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The league's current TV deal with ESPN and digital media deal with Yahoo "end Oct. 27 with its championship game in Raleigh," and any "new deal is expected to tie those rights together." In July, ESPN "agreed to carry 14 NWSL games, but did not pay a rights fee." The net told the NWSL that it is "interested in renewing, though its exclusive negotiating period has expired." The league "wants to have a new deal wrapped up in the next few months," as the '20 season "begins in April." As the NWSL "takes its rights to market, it is counting on the increasing interest" around the USWNT. Fox signed a "short deal to carry NWSL games" after the team's '15 World Cup win; ESPN "signed a short deal after this year's win." Octagon Senior VP/Global Media Rights Consulting Daniel Cohen said that he is "looking for a network to sign a longer deal this time" (SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/21).

WELCOME TO THE 'VILLE: THE ATHLETIC's Megan Linehan cited sources as saying that USL club Louisville City FC has "come to terms with the NWSL for an expansion team, though the new team will not take the field" until '21. The formal announcement will "likely take place" early this week. Louisville's new soccer-specific stadium was a "key part" of LCFC's "pitch for expansion" (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/19).