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CBS to air first USL match on over-the-air network TV

Published: Updated: 17:47, 6 Apr 2024
CBS looking to explore USL market unlike previous rights holders

This weekend, a historic moment will unfold as the Louisville City game against Indy Eleven becomes the first United Soccer League match to be televised on free, over-the-air television. This groundbreaking event is courtesy of CBS and forms part of their new broadcast deal with the USL.

Previously, entire seasons of the USL Championship were aired exclusively on ESPN+. Occasionally, games would also be featured on ESPN or ESPN2. While this provided access for cable subscribers, CBS's new deal takes it a step further by making these games accessible to anyone with an antenna. This marks a rare instance where watching a soccer game in the United States does not require any form of subscription.

However, only select games will be available throughout the season on CBS TV channel including the much-anticipated USL Championship Final later in this season.

CBS looking to cash in on USA’s growing football market

The move to broadcast soccer matches via an over-the-air network like CBS signifies more than just increased accessibility. It speaks volumes about how far USL has come over the past decade and its growing influence in American soccer.

Following Saturday’s game, coverage will switch to other major sporting events such as NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and The Masters golf tournament. The inclusion of USL amidst these high-profile sports events underscores its popularity among American audiences.

The two clubs competing in this historic match are considered benchmarks within the league. Louisville City has been synonymous with success since its inception as a division-three side in 2015; they have won two-time USL Cup titles and inaugurated a modern stadium last year while maintaining an impressive winning streak at season's start.

On similar lines, Indy Eleven has demonstrated consistency and is currently constructing a new stadium downtown Indianapolis. Although success has been less frequent for Indy Eleven, the match promises to be a spectacle for sports fans.

Louisville City and Indy Eleven are two of fiercest rivals

Adding to the excitement is the rivalry between Indy and Louisville. Separated by just 90 miles, their matches have become some of the premier derbies in USL Championship. This rivalry could potentially lead to an explosive game on CBS and Paramount+ this weekend.

This historic broadcast deal between CBS and USL not only brings soccer games into more American homes but also highlights the growing popularity of USL in American sports culture. With rivalries like that of Louisville City and Indy Eleven on display, viewers can expect thrilling matches throughout the season.

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