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November 21, 2022

Women’s Sports are on the Rise, Creating Game-Changing Opportunities for Advertisers


SAN FRANCISCO – November 21, 2022 – Samba TV, the leading provider of television technology and omniscreen advertising and analytics globally, today released a new insights report analyzing the rapidly growing viewership landscape of women’s sporting events throughout 2022. From the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Women’s March Madness tournament to the National Women’s Soccer League, the report highlights the significant growth in TV viewership for women’s live sporting events this past year. The unique data demonstrates how advertisers and broadcasters can better reach younger, more diverse and higher income audiences by planning their advertising investments and prioritizing media coverage surrounding these events.

“2022 was a breakout year for women’s sports, and a watershed moment for female athletes and the industry overall,” said Samba TV Chief Marketing Officer Meredith Brace. “Smart advertisers and broadcasters alike took advantage of the broad and growing appeal of women’s sports in 2022 and their investments were rewarded by massive double and triple digit growth in audiences. The movement surrounding women’s sports and their diverse superfans provides an unprecedented opportunity to reach younger and more affluent audiences from every corner of the nation.” 

Brace continued, “Despite what is truly a near universal appeal from an audience perspective, coverage of women’s sporting events still significantly lags behind where viewership interest tells us it should be. With a strong and rapidly growing fanbase, engaged advertisers are seeing significant ROI and an incredible line-up of sporting event moments worth prime TV placements in the year ahead. Broadcasters should take note for 2023 and give women’s sporting events the primetime placement they deserve. There has never been a better time for advertisers and broadcasters alike to tap into the extraordinary growth of live women’s sporting events.” 

Key insights from Samba TV’s report:

Across multiple events, women's sports experienced significant growth in 2022, showcasing broad appeal.

  • Women’s sports drove year-over-year growth in sports, including March Madness (+81% YoY), WNBA finals (+171% YoY), and NWSL championship (+453% YoY).
  • With viewership of women’s sports growing, advertisers have significant opportunities to gain powerful in-home reach via in-stadium sponsorships. Data from Samba TV’s partner Relo Metrics found a 200% YoY increase in media value for in-stadium sponsorships viewed during the 2022 Women’s Champions League semi finals.

Women’s sports attract a diverse, younger, and more affluent audience.

  • Women’s sports are drawing in younger, more affluent viewers from every corner of the nation. Both coastal and inland cities over-indexed to the 2022 NWSL championship game, highlighting the universal appeal and reach of women’s sporting events for brands. 
  • 39% of Gen Z sports fans are watching more women’s sports than they were 1 year ago (source: NRG October ’22) and Samba TV data has found that women’s sports over-index in their share of diverse, younger and wealthier viewers.

Viewership of women’s sports is broad-based and national.

  • Over-indexing DMAs, based on NWSL Championship game viewership compared to U.S. overall: Portland, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Charlotte, and Atlanta all over-indexed by double digits.

Women’s sports have earned and deserve more primetime television placements. When given this opportunity, audiences show up to tune in.

  • Women’s sports have historically struggled to gain significant advertiser traction because their games have not benefited from the same network visibility of men’s sports. As broadcasters seek to pull in viewers, women’s sports should be top of mind.
  • Game 1 of the WNBA finals, which aired on network television, drew in more than 1 million viewing households - more than twice the average rating for every other finals game which aired on cable channels. 

About Samba TV:

Samba TV has transformed the TV from a pane of glass on the wall to a window into the heart of audiences. We are the global leader in television technology powering real-time insights and audience targeting to enable unparalleled marketing efficiency and effectiveness. Our proprietary first-party data from tens of millions of opted-in televisions, across more than 20 TV brands sold in over 100 countries, provides advertisers and media companies a unified view of the entire consumer journey. Our independent currency-grade measurement has future-proofed advertising for the next generation, empowering advertisers to connect with their audiences on any platform, across every screen.

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