– Game on. To state the obvious: It’s not easy to be female pro athlete. Not only do you have to compete with the most athletically gifted women of your generation—you also have to prove that you and your sports deserve the respect, attention and compensation that seems to flow so easily to elite male athletes (see the news about the National Women’s Soccer League for the latest example.)
In those battles, one of the weapons that’s been wielded against women’s sports is the idea that they’re less of a draw—that fans just aren’t that interested in watching women play. So I was fascinated to learn that a new venture is putting that idea to the test by launching a stand-alone women’s sports streaming platform.
From the report in the LA Times: “The Women’s Sports Network is partnering with several prominent organizations, including the Ladies Professional Golf Assn., U.S. Ski and Snowboard, and World Surf League, which have agreed to provide content to the venture. The network, which plans to provide coverage of a range of sports, also plans original programming, including a daily studio show produced in Los Angeles. The show will be modeled after ESPN’s SportsCenter and will include game highlights but will be hosted by female anchors who will discuss the events of the day.”
The new streamer will run coverage 24/7 and launch as a free, ad-supported service, no subscription required. It’s expected to get off the ground this summer.
Supporters say the business case for the network is there; advertisers are already all in on top female athletes and the majority of women’s sports consumers are reportedly employed college grads between the ages of 25 and 34—a prime market.
Launching a streaming service is complicated, so whether the Women’s Sports Network thrives or fails is not a ruling on the economic viability of women’s athletics, but it would certainly provide athletes with a boost if it takes off. For those who want to see their favorite female players get the attention they deserve, there’s one thing they can do to help: tune in.
Read More Here: https://fortune.com/2022/02/02/womens-sports-are-getting-their-own-network/