By: Kaitlin Dandini
Nov. 22, 2022
Photo Credit: Associated Press
The recent announcement of The Women's Sports Network represents a groundbreaking milestone in the progression of gender equality in sports. The Women's Sports Network, launched by FAST Studios in the beginning of November is a free, ad-supported, streaming service that is available on platforms such as Amazon Freevee, FuboTV, Tubi, and more. The network will cover 12 professional women’s sports leagues including the Women's National Basketball Association, Ladies Professional Golf Association, US Ski and Snowboard, and others. Additional partners for this network include organizations like Athletes Unlimited, Quattro Media, and Goodsport. This network includes the flagship show GAME ON, a program that highlights women's sports and media news, players, game recaps, and more.
Title IX, a landmark ruling prohibiting sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. This ruling has been a catalyst for gender equality in sports in particular. However, despite the steady increase in the popularity and viewership of women’s sports since Title IX’s introduction, women’s sports have lagged behind men’s in terms of media coverage. Data from CNBC reveals that women’s sports only receive 5% of media coverage.
The interest in women’s sports is there- recent polls show that 39% of Gen Z are watching more women’s sports this year than they were a year ago. Despite this clear demonstration of fan interest, women’s sports have made little headway in terms of increased media coverage.
This network represents a milestone in the fight against gender inequality in sports and will help to increase the scope of women’s sports worldwide. It provides a streamlined viewing experience for fans and puts women’s sports in the spotlight.
The FAST Studios Innovation Lab estimates that women’s sports could account for upwards of 30% of the global sports business marketplace by 2030. This network is a huge step in the right direction for increasing gender equality within sports and is creating a promising future for female athletes and sports fans alike.