The NWHL announced today NBCSN will exclusively broadcast the two semifinals games and the Isobel Cup Final of the 2021 season in Lake Placid.
The first semifinal game is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. eastern and the second is slated to start directly after. The Isobel Cup Final will be Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. eastern. The games will also stream exclusively on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app as well.
The release notes that this is the first time professional women’s hockey will be seen live on a major network in the United States.
“Never before has women’s professional hockey had the opportunity to reach so many people on American television in the United States,” said Commissioner Tyler Tumminia in the release. “As we have seen with the WNBA and NWSL this year, when women’s major league sports leagues are given a strong showcase, viewership is increased and countless new fans connect with the teams and players.”
Before the 2019-20 season, the NWHL entered a three-year agreement to stream games on Twitch, a historic deal that included a first-ever broadcast rights fee. The partnership was a boon off the bat with the league’s two channels garnering 8 million views in the first season. The release makes no mention of the other 21 games so it could most likely be safely assumed they will remain on Twitch.
Broadcast crew information for all of the games - including the NBCSN ones - was not included. Though, Tumminia notes that NBC Sports will provide the league with “award-winning announcers.” Typically, NBCSN uses a standard crew for national NHL games. The NWHL has had fairly consistent crews at each home rink.
The league plans to play 24 games in 14 days, between Jan. 23 and Feb. 5. Each team will play five regular season games, then a playoff round, follow by the semifinals and the Final.