Another women’s sport is being elevated to the national spotlight.
NBC Sports will broadcast the National Women’s Hockey League’s Isobel Cup semifinals and finals — the first time professional women’s hockey games will be shown live on a major national cable network in the U.S.
2020 has been a banner year for professional women’s sports.
- In the fall, the National Women’s Soccer League saw its television viewership grow 500% year-over-year on the back of a new CBS broadcast deal.
- Ahead of the 2020 season, the NWSL struck sponsorship deals with Procter & Gamble, Secret Deodorant, Budweiser, Google and Verizon.
- Viewership for the full 2020 WNBA season across all networks was up 38% vs. 2019, and social media interactions increased 30%.
“As we have seen with the WNBA and NWSL this year, when women’s major league sports leagues are given a strong showcase, viewership is increased and countless new fans connect with the teams and players,” NWHL Commissioner Tyler Tumminia said.
The NWHL’s new broadcast deal comes shortly after the six-team league switched to an independent ownership model to encourage new investment.
Women’s hockey also saw its largest sponsorship deal ever in a $1 million commitment from Secret Deodorant to the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association in October.