Fast Studios To Launch Women’s Sports Network
BY GEORGE WINSLOW
LOS ANGELES—Fast Studios has announced what it is calling a “multi-million dollar plan” to build a new free, ad-supported, 24/7 streaming channel focusing on women’s sports content called the Women’s Sports Network,
Women’s Sports Network will debut in 2022 on major free, ad-supported streaming platforms. Fast Studios will manage programming, advertising and distribution as it does for its other channels.
The company said that the Women’s Sports Network has confirmed participation from several leading organizations including the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), U.S. 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.
Fast Studios has also set up a Women’s Sports Network Advisory Board that includes such leaders in women’s sports as 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 U.S. 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 Los Angeles. 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,” said Stiff, who is part of the channel’s advisory board. “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% of sports media coverage despite making up 40% of all participants in sports,” added Goldschmidt. “The new Women’s Sports Network is primed for success with our initial slate of content partnerships with key sports organizations, deep relationships with brand marketers, and the growing demand for a premiere destination for women’s sports.”