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League announces that ESPN will stream an NASL match of the week

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All 27 weeks of the NASL season will feature one match streamed live by ESPN

Mike Zarrilli

The NASL doesn't have a national television deal, but today the league office announced a partnership with ESPN that will allow subscribers to stream one game per week on ESPN3. This will allow fans who don't want to pay $29.99 (or $4.99 per month) for NASL Live a route to see the league for free, as long as they're one of the roughly 92 million who have access to ESPN3.

One of the major concerns I had with the launch of NASL Live was that it could be difficult to grow the fanbase with a subscription service, no matter how reasonable the fee. This announcement goes a long way to eliminating those concerns, and will probably do wonders for growing viewership. There was no mention of carrying games on ESPN Deportes as they did with the Soccer Bowl last November.

With MLS moving to FOX in the future, this could be a great opportunity for the NASL to find a full-time national broadcast partner. This weekend's ESPN3 match will be the debut of the Indy Eleven, who will be hosting Carolina at 7:30 pm ET on Saturday.