The first-ever network to focus on female athletes, the Women’s Sports Network, recently launched — offering 24/7 streaming of unique programming, competitions, documentaries, and a daily studio show dubbed “Game On.”
The network was first announced back in February by Los Angeles-based Fast Studios. The Women’s Sports Network is a free, ad-supported network featured on streaming services.
“It’s a significant step towards narrowing the gap in media coverage for female athletes, for female sports,” stated Angela Ruggiero, CEO and co-founder of Sports Innovation Lab and four-time ice hockey Olympian, who is on the board of advisors for the new network.
“2022 has been a significant year. We’ve looked back to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, but I think what Women’s Sports Network shows … there’s a real focus on what the next 50 years are going to look like,” stated Jon Patricof, CEO and Co-founder of women’s sports league network Athletes Unlimited.
What is the Women’s Sports Network?
The Women’s Sports Network has partnerships with the Women’s National Basketball Association, Women’s Football Alliance, Ladies Professional Golf Association, U.S. Ski and Snowboard, Sports Innovation Lab, and World Surf League, among others. It plans to broadcast games starting in January.
The network is a streaming network built like a cable network and is the third streaming network in the FAST Studios family, joining Racing America and Spartan TV.
“As we have seen repeatedly, women’s sports don’t get the coverage they deserve. We have an opportunity to leverage the new FAST landscape to become a part of the solution. At the Women’s Sports Network, women’s sports are primetime, all the time,” McLean stated.
“We’ve been listening to athletes, fans and our incredible league partners, and we know there is a tremendous need for a network that is committed to women’s sports coverage, storytelling and content.”
Women’s Sports First
The Women’s Sports Network has grown from GAME ON outward. Fans of women’s sports can find storytelling in tennis, surfing, hockey, basketball, and more. Although McLean wouldn’t comment specifically about sponsorships or viewership numbers and projections, he additionally mentioned the network received positive praise throughout the soft launch period.
“What we're hearing is, our ability to give a single point of access for both the brands and the fans is what's going to create more commercial opportunities for the athletes and the leagues. We at the Women's Sports Network think women's sports is great business,” stated McLean.
“We're hoping that our network will start to pay off the hard work that these athletes have done – both former champions and present players – and again, we're here to lend support and give some more tools to the marketplace to create more commercial opportunities, so that the fans can enjoy more and the brands, but ultimately, this is really to support women's sports overall,” he added.