Fast Studios to launch Women’s Sports Network
February 2, 2022
Fast Studios, the LA-based venture studio, has unveiled its plan to build the Women’s Sports Network — a free, ad-supported, 24/7 streaming destination where fans will find 100 per cent women’s sports content.
The Women’s Sports Network has confirmed participation from several leading organisations including the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), US Ski and Snowboard and World Surf League (WSL), in addition to collaborative support from the women’s sports media brand GoodSport and Empower Onyx, a minority-owned media company that celebrates the journey of Black women and girls through sports, with more launch partners to follow. The channel’s strategy is to be as inclusive as possible with rights holders, athletes and content producers to further raise the profile of women’s sports.
Fast Studios’ Women’s Sports Network Advisory Board includes leaders in women’s sports, including Carol Stiff, a 30-year veteran of ESPN and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee who has been instrumental in growing the profile of women’s sports media throughout her career; and Sophie Goldschmidt, CEO of US Ski & Snowboard who recently served as CEO of the World Surf League (WSL) and previously held leadership positions with the NBA, Women’s Tennis Association, European PGA Tour and Adidas.
To complement the array of programming from its content partners, Women’s Sports Network will produce flagship daily and weekly women’s sports news, talk and highlights shows from a new, dedicated studio space in LA. Emmy Award-winning media executive Melissa Forman is advising the channel’s original programming strategy.
“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,” added 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.”
“There is a huge, under-served market for women’s sports on television. Currently, female athletes receive only 4 per cent of sports media coverage despite making up 40 per cent of all participants in sports,” said Goldschmidt. “The new Women’s Sports Network is primed for success with our initial slate of content partnerships with key sports organisations, deep relationships with brand marketers, and the growing demand for a premiere destination for women’s sports.”
“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,” added Stuart McLean, CEO of Fast Studios. “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. We are so grateful to have so many visionary women embrace this mission and put their energy and expertise behind this new venture.”
Women’s Sports Network will debut later this year on free, ad-supported streaming platforms.