Ice hockey's new Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) is set to launch with six inaugural franchises and a 24-game regular season in January 2024.

The league will feature three teams in the US – Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the New York City area – and three teams in Canada – Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa. Details on the team names, logos, home arenas will be announced in the coming months.

The PWHL plans to stream each game but will also look to gain coverage on linear television.

The inaugural season’s schedule is set to be announced in the next few months but it is expected to run from January through late May or early June. The season will include a break for the IIHF Women’s World Championship in April.

The PWHL was first announced in June when the Mark Walter Group and Billie Jean King Enterprises (BJKE) acquired the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) as a means to create one single unified league with rivals the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA).

Jayna Hefford, senior vice president of hockey operations, said: “Today, we look ahead to a phenomenal future for the PWHL.

“We have never seen more excitement and demand for women’s sports, and through the launch of this league, the top women’s players in the world will have the opportunity to reach even greater heights.”

The PWHL said it is also looking to have a presence at major National Hockey League (NHL) events, including the All-Star Weekend.

In a statement, the NHL said: “The NFL congratulates the PWHL on today’s announcement. We remain committed to supporting the women’s game and look forward to working together with the PWHL to grow our sport.”

Mark Walter is co-owner of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, while BJKE is an investment vehicle focused on women’s sports founded by former tennis legend Billie Jean King last April.

The new unified league is supported by a board of directors that includes King, Stan Kasten, president of the MLB’s LA Dodgers, sports executive Ilana Kloss, and Dodgers senior vice president of strategy Royce Cohen.

The PWHL Players Association, meanwhile, will be led by Brian Burke, the former president of hockey operations at NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.

Players interested in competing in the 2023-24 PWHL season are required to register for the draft by September 3. There will be a 10-day free agent period from September 1 to 10 ahead of the draft where teams can sign up to three players each.

The PWHL’s collective bargaining agreement states teams can have up to 20 players signed ahead of November’s training camps. Six players on each team will be signed to three-year contracts of “no less than $80,000 per league year.”

Other players will be paid a minimum salary of $35,000. The CBA does not include a salary cap but does state that teams must adhere to a $55,000 average salary.