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WNBA’s Coverage Gap

Women’s sports notoriously receive a fraction of the coverage men’s sports see, but a tracking of coverage during the entirety of the WNBA Playoffs — which wrapped earlier this month with the Seattle Storm’s win over the Las Vegas Aces — showed just how little. In six major newspapers across the country, the WNBA garnered just over 3% of total sports coverage.

The New York Times had the most women’s basketball reporting of the big six papers in that time frame, with 10.2% of its coverage dedicated to the WNBA — and another 6.4% for other women’s sports. The Chicago Tribune performed the worst, with a paltry 0.8% of its sports coverage dedicated to the WNBA. Newspapers in the home cities of the finalists — the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Seattle Times — performed a bit better than most, with 5.07% and 12.12%, respectively. 

Despite the mainstream coverage gap, the W had a solid summer in the Wubble. The season began with the viral orange hoodie campaign, which is now the league’s best-selling merchandise item ever. Skincare and makeup brand Glossier also recently became the WNBA’s first “beauty partner.”

Major Outlets’ Sports Coverage During WNBA Playoffs:

  • NFL — 28.11%
  • MLB — 20.14%
  • NBA — 13.41%
  • College Football — 12.90%
  • NHL — 6.00%
  • WNBA — 3.10%