With less than a month to go before the end of the year, the NWSL has released a schedule footpring for 2024.
The plan is to begin with the season on March 16, include an expanded playoff schedule, a revised NWSL Challenge Cup format and end the season on November 23 with the NWSL Championship.
Per CBA and NWSL rules, clubs may hold preseason camps beginning as early as January 22 but no later than January 29 prior to the start of league competition.
The 2024 format is as follows:
- The Challenge Cup has been reformatted to a single one-off game between the previous NWSL Shield winner and the current NWSL Champion. If those two end up being the same team, the Challenge Cup will be a rematch of the previous NWSL Championship match. For 2024, the match will feature NJ/NY Gotham FC and San Diego Wave FC, and will take place on March 15.
- The new schedule will also avoid having any NWSL matches during a FIFA window.
- The league will take a CBA-mandated league breack from July 8 to July 14 and the NWSL will take a break for the Olympics from July 15 to August 18. In that break, the league will host a competition with NWSL teams and other international teams. Details will follow.
- The playoffs will now feature eight teams, with four quarterfinals and byes will no longer exist between the quarterfinals and the semifinals. The quarterfinals are set for November 9-10, the semifinals are set for November 16-17 and the Championship will be on November 23.
Beginning next season, 118 matches will be distributed across the following partner platforms:
- The NWSL will begin each regular-season weekend with Friday night matches on Prime Video.
- Each Saturday night that follows will include a double-header on Scripps’-owned ION network, available over-the-air in 123 million homes.
- A package of regular season matches will air on the CBS Television Network and stream live on Paramount+, with additional matches airing on CBS Sports Network.
- ESPN will air a package of matches across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes (Spanish). All NWSL matches on ESPN platforms and on ABC will stream live on ESPN+ in English and Spanish. The package also includes English, Spanish and Portuguese-language rights in Latin America.
In addition to Prime Video’s playoff coverage, CBS and Paramount+ will also have rights to one quarterfinal and one semifinal while ESPN/ABC are slated to air two quarterfinal matches and one semifinal contest.
For the third-straight season, the NWSL Championship will air in primetime on the CBS Television Network and stream on Paramount+.