A new sports network called the Women’s Sports Network is hitting the streaming airwaves in an effort to further raise the profile of women’s sports. The network will debut in 2022 on free, ad-supported streaming platforms in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
Presented by FAST Studios, a multi-million dollar plan to build the network was unveiled Tuesday by CEO Stuart McLean. Already the WSN has confirmed participation from several organizations, including the LPGA, U.S. Ski and Snowboard and the World Surf League. Additionally, GoodSport and Empower Onyx have joined as partners.
Included on the network’s advisory board is Carol Stiff, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and 30-year ESPN veteran. Sophie Goldschmidt, CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard and former WSL CEO, will also be on the board.
In addition to airing competitions, the network will produce daily and weekly women’s sports news, talk and highlights shows from Los Angeles.
“Women’s sports programming has been too hard to find on TV for too long. Brands are telling us that they want to support female athletes, and they appreciate how brand-safe and relatable they are,” said Stiff. “When we launch, 50 years after Title IX started the ball rolling towards parity for women’s sports in America, the Women’s Sports Network will fill a void that has been plaguing brands and audiences alike.”
In addition to FAST Studios, McLean currently sits on the Fluid Fan Leadership Board at Sports Innovation Lab, which recognizes the need for growing women’s sports coverage.
“For too long, the women’s sports industry has been seen through the lens of men’s sports, and that has led to a massive underestimation of the commercial opportunity,” said McLean “Our significant investment in the Women’s Sports Network, the outstanding team of partners we’re continuing to grow, and the cultural forces at play all combine to make this the most exciting new venture I’ve ever had the privilege to launch.”