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Women’s Sports Viewership Is on the Rise, Will a Fragmented Market Answer the Call?

Steve Anderson

One of the dirtiest cliches around is that women don’t watch sports. A new report issued from Altman Solon makes it clear that dirty old lie isn’t true especially as more women turn to sports for their entertainment fix.

Monthly sports viewers among women are already substantial in places like Germany, the UK, and the US. In those countries, 50 percent of female respondents fall into the category of monthly sports viewers. The numbers are even higher in other places. Both Asian countries and Latin American countries reported female monthly sports viewership counts up around 70 percent.

The Women’s Super League recently established a three-year deal with Sky Sports, as well as the BBC, to broadcast games. Such an arrangement is regarded as the potential future of women’s sports.

The growth of the women’s sports market will be impossible to ignore. With a clearly growing market, advertisers will almost be forced to pivot to supporting women’s sports just to capture the free-flowing revenue. With women’s enthusiasm for sports on the rise, they may ultimately reach a point where they’re the top of the heap in sports viewership. The lack of televised women’s sports may ultimately be a self-fixing problem as advertisers increasingly back women’s sports coverage to reach a broader market.

Meanwhile, the streaming landscape is helping out on this front, bringing a broader range of sports coverage to potential viewers. Yet here, there are also issues of fragmentation in the field. While coverage of the NFL is widespread, and Amazon Prime Video is poised to be a major player starting in 2022, other leagues are less readily available. Streaming services have yet to catch up fully for baseball, though MLB.TV is available for baseball fans to use. Several teams are currently locked up as part of Bally’s streaming operations. Perhaps the biggest blow of all is that fuboTV, one of the biggest sports streaming operations around, doesn’t have TBS. That oversight keeps a lot of sporting events out of viewers’ hands.

For instance, viewing most NFL games will only require access to CBS or Fox. CBS will cover the AFC teams while Fox generally handles NFC teams. Several Live TV streaming platforms will provide the vital access here. Purely streaming plays include fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, and Sling TV.

College sports will be a whole different matter. Simply consult this list for your Favorite College Football Team, and watch away.

Those looking for sports beyond football will hardly find themselves turned away. Anyone looking for a particular, non-football sport should merely turn to this comprehensive list of how to watch live sports without cable in 2021.

A more centralized sports viewing outlet would undoubtedly be welcome by viewers. However, with so many separate rights issues and percentages at stake, it’s a safe bet centralization won’t happen for years, if ever. Still, the roadmaps provided should go a long way toward connecting users to their sport of choice, no matter their demographic.

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