NWHL and NBC will make women’s hockey history next year

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Women’s professional hockey games will be televised live in the United States by a major national network for the first time.

The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and NBC Sports announced Tuesday that the 2021 Isobel Cup Semifinals and Finals will air live exclusively on NBCSN on Feb. 4-5. The partnership between NBC Sports and the NWHL, the lone women’s professional hockey league, is a historic milestone for women’s hockey in North America.

“Our partnership with NBC Sports is monumental for the visibility of the NWHL,” NWHL commissioner Tyler Tumminia said in a press release. “Never before has women’s professional hockey had the opportunity to reach so many people on American television in the United States.

“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.”

Broadcasting from the iconic Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, New York — the site of the 1980 Miracle on Ice — the single-elimination Isobel Cup Semifinals will be shown on Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Winners will advance to the finals the following day at 7 p.m. 

The games will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

“NBC Sports provides the NWHL’s biggest games in our upcoming season in Lake Placid with best-in-class production and award-winning announcers,” Tumminia said. “The NWHL will deliver intense, memorable hockey for the viewers on NBCSN as an Isobel Cup champion is crowned.”

The six-team league plans to turn Lake Placid into a bubble for its upcoming regular season and playoffs from Jan. 23 to Feb. 5, with games taking place in the same arena the US defeated the four-time defending gold medalist Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics.

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