Viewership of many women’s sports leagues is rising, but advertising dollars and wages remain significantly lower than that of men’s sports, a new study found.
What Happened: Viewership of the National Women’s Soccer League grew 300% to over 650,000 viewers. The league has benefitted from a dominant U.S. women’s soccer team that has placed 3rd or better in each of the World Cups played since 1991.
The Olympic Channel, owned by Comcast Corporation CMCSA, gets 56% of its viewership from women. Women’s sports on The Olympic Channel also outperforms men’s sports in viewership.
Why It’s Important: Advertisers could be missing out on potential audiences that are more engaged and control the spending of families. Less than 1% of sponsorship dollars go to women’s sports.
Sports fans in the U.S. are split fairly even with 51% men and 49% women. A poll found 66% of people say they were interested in at least one women’s sport.
Professional women athletes earn 63% on average of what men make in the same sports. Perhaps the most glaring statistic of all is the Forbes list of the 50 highest paid athletes contained only one woman, tennis player Naomi Osaka at #29.
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