The U.S. women's national team's Olympic qualifying matches will be able to be seen by fans after all.
Though the process went down to the final day, Fox Sports has acquired the English broadcast rights from Concacaf to the women's Olympic qualifying competition in addition to the 2020 men's Olympic qualifying tournament, the 2021 and 2023 Gold Cup tournaments and the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Concacaf Champions League tournaments.
Tuesday night's U.S. opener vs. Haiti (8:30 p.m. ET) will appear on FS2. The U.S. will also play Panama on Friday and Costa Rica next Monday, with an eye on advancing to the Feb. 7 semifinals. The region's two semifinal winners will secure berths at Tokyo 2020, where the U.S. is hoping for the chance to become the first women's national team to follow a Women's World Cup title with Olympic gold.
SI's Grant Wahl had reported on Friday that one of the holdups was that Concacaf was trying to package the women's Olympic qualifying tournament with other soccer properties and that two networks had yet to bite. It's Concacaf, not U.S. Soccer, who controls the rights to the women's tournament. NBC, which broadcasts the Olympics, aired the qualifiers for Rio 2016.
This time around, they go to Fox, which has aired the USWNT's World Cup triumphs in 2015 and 2019 and has had English-language U.S. rights to the Gold Cup for U.S. national team matches since 2007 and for the entire tournament since 2013.
The new deal also gives Fox U.S. English-language rights to the CCL, which Fox had televised from 2008-09 through 2015-16. The 2016-17 edition was on Concacaf platforms and Facebook, and from 2017-19 the tournament was on Verizon and Yahoo.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.