US Reporter

The Women’s Sports Network Aims to Increase Coverage of Women’s Sports

The entertainment industry achieved another breakthrough as it launched the Women’s Sports Network.

The show will cover any sport-related content or events that involve women. From basketball matches to volleyball, soccer, tennis, badminton, and any sport that showcases women’s talents in sports. The Women’s Sports Network offers a 24/7 streaming of its original programs. Also, it includes a daily show called “Game On.” Programs of the network show competitions, documentaries, and the like.

The Women’s Sports Network comes for free. However, it is ad-supported, meaning people could see advertisements between the programs. The ads include Amazon’s Freevee, Fox Corp’s FuboTV and Tubi. They want to create the station to provide an avenue for the growing volume of women in sports. The Women’s Sports Network comes at a period when women in sports grew in number but only received little media coverage.

“It’s a significant step towards narrowing the gap in media coverage for female athletes, for female sports,” said the CEO of Sports Innovation Lab, Angel Ruggiero.

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The origin of Women’s Sports Network

Fast Studios, a media company based in Los Angeles, first announced the plans for the Women’s Sports Network in February. Since then, it has established strong links with several sports organizations, including the Women’s National Basketball Association, Ladies Professional Golf Association, Women’s Football Alliance, US Ski and Snowboard, World Surf League, Sports Innovation Lab, and many more. According to the management, the network should start releasing its programs by January next year.

The creator of the Women’s Sports Network, Fast Studios, started in 2020. Its founder, Stuart McLean, first released ad-supported services for the company, such as auto racing and obstacle competitions. However, Fast Studios saw a growth in women’s sports and a surge in viewership of sports involving women. For instance, the WNBA reported a 22% increase in viewers in just a year. Moreover, sports brands like Nike have started to recruit women athletes for their brands.

However, researchers at the University of Southern California and Purdue University found that even with the apparent spike in women entering the sports world, they only receive about 5% of the media coverage.

“The Women’s Sports Network is exactly what athletes, fans and sponsors have been asking for,” said Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the Ladies Professional Golf Association commissioner.

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Gen Zers watch more

The National Research Group and Ampere Analysis said that a considerable chunk of the viewers of women’s sports includes Gen Zers. According to the study, there is a 39% increase in Gen Zers watching women’s sports and a 29% increase in millennials. However, a disparity still exists regarding people knowing the people involved in the women’s sports scene.

“There’s a pent-up demand for women’s sports, but they typically go under-invested, under-supported, under-viewed because the ecosystem underneath it hasn’t been built,” said Ruggiero.

“We don’t have enough female writers. And we don’t have enough female broadcasters. We don’t have enough female producers. So the media ecosystem is still fairly male-dominated, and women aren’t getting the ratings.”

“Every men’s league has had decades of a jumpstart on the traditional women’s leagues. However, these women’s sports properties are still fairly early in their lifecycle, and anything early in its lifecycle requires more investment to build the brand, awareness, audience, and platform. And it’s on the business side, not just the performance side.”

Photo Credit: Football365

Source: CNBC

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