The Rise of US Women’s Sports Coverage 

By Haley Hart

November 17, 2023

Female sports were originally assumed to only receive 3-5% of US sports coverage, however, according to a new study conducted by agency giant Wasserman’s The Collective division, women’s sports are now receiving 15% of US sports media coverage. This provides a smidge of  hope for many, that female sports could one day reach a level of equality to the coverage that male sports receive. In fact, it’s now being predicted that women’s sports coverage could reach 20% by 2025. 

The increase in women’s sports content can be attributed to the rise of streaming platforms and social media. On streaming platforms, viewers have the ability to watch multiple games simultaneously and no longer need to prioritize what games are more important to catch, the way one might have had to in an era of linear TV networks.

Wasserman’s study also found that TV coverage of women’s sports was often scheduled at the same time as men’s leagues, risking “cannibalizing viewership”. Between 2018 and 2022, Wasserman’s report stated that women’s sports were often broadcast during the first and fourth quarter of the year on Sundays. This means that they were scheduled during the same time as the NFL.

“This data powerfully begs a reassessment of the opportunity around women’s sports – to meet fans where their passions live and their consumption habits converge,” said Wasserman’s executive vice president of global insights, Shelley Pisarra. “New perspective can perpetuate a growth cycle that will result in greater economic growth for players, leagues, brands, properties and audiences alike. “Persistent, incorrect assumptions of lower media representation for women’s sports have created hesitancy around investment, whereas truth will spark opportunity. Coverage of sports has definitely evolved across platforms, requiring new approaches to and support for women’s sports advancement.”

The report also noted that discussions about women’s sports on social media have increased to 18.5% of all sports conversions in 2022. These numbers may not seem like a lot, but they are quite impressive compared to what experts previously thought about the viewership of women’s sports. They give a small glimpse into what could be a very successful future for the media coverage women deserve.