This summer, it’ll be that much easier to watch women’s sports.
That’s because a 24-hour Women’s Sports Network will launch, bringing viewers coverage of women athletes’ achievements both during and after games, matches and events. “For far too long, we have been off to the side,” Carol Stiff, a Women’s Sports Network advisor and former ESPN executive, told the L.A. Times. This channel aims to change that.
The Women’s Sports Network will collaborate with organizations such as the Ladies Professional Golf Association, U.S. Ski and Snowboard, and World Surf League for its content, the L.A. Times reported. It will also produce original shows, including a daily offering featuring game and event highlights.
“We have fabulous athletes who work as hard as the male counterpart. And, finally, we have an outlet for all of these women’s stories and competitions,” Stiff added. “It’s just time.”
Women’s sports receive only about 4 percent of sports media coverage, even though 40 percent of all sports participants are women, according to UNESCO. But cultural shifts regarding interest in women’s sports – as well as a change in television consumption habits – have created a new opportunity for this station.
“We’re at a point where, finally, women’s sports can be commercially viable and sustainable,” Sophie Goldschmidt, chief executive of U.S. Ski & Snowboard and another Women’s Sports Network advisor, said to the L.A. Times. “This isn’t just a box-checking exercise [or] doing it because it’s the right thing to do. The business rationale is also there.”
The Women’s Sports Network is a property of Fast Studios, a streaming service provider that partners with the likes of television maker Vizio and content platform Tubi to bring its programming to a reported 200 million viewers.