Smart TV and streaming company Roku has launched Women’s Sports Zone, a new centralized in-app location for users to access live broadcasts and content around the NWSL, U.S. Women’s World Cup, LPGA, WNBA, college basketball, and other women’s sports.
Roku’s decision to launch a dedicated women’s sports widget was made to meet increased viewership demand for women’s sports. The company cited a 2022 study from NRG that claimed 30% of sports fans said they’re watching more women’s sports than they used to over the past five years, and 25% said they are watching more over the past year.
Ratings for this year’s Women’s March Madness tournament skyrocketed, cultivating with the LSU-Iowa title game being the most-watched women’s basketball of all time. ESPN’s championship game broadcast averaged 9.9 million viewers, up 103% over last year’s women’s final, and ranks higher than the viewership for several marquee men’s sporting events.
Last month’s WNBA Draft on ESPN was the league’s highest-rated draft in 19 years. Roku’s new hub is launching before the WNBA’s season tips off Friday. Scripps-owned ION, which signed a WNBA broadcast deal last month, will show games for free via ION’s FAST Channel through The Roku Channel.
Roku’s Women’s Sports Zone will also let users find female-focused sports documentaries and movies such as The Longshots, Prodigy, and Bring It!. The hub in the Roku app will curate content for users based on their personal sports viewing history, with fans able to search for programming based on their favorite team or league.