Roku launches an all-in-one women's sports hub on their app
The GIST: Roku just hit play on an all-in-one women’s sports hub. Six months after creating a general sports center, the media company launched the Women’s Sports Zone on Wednesday, an in-app feature that provides access to live games and on-demand content.
The details: The Women’s Sports Zone features live coverage of the WNBA, NWSL, college basketball, LPGA, and the USWNT’s FIFA Women’s World Cup slate, among other sports. ION’s free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel will also be available through the Roku Channel for its Friday night WNBA games.
- Roku’s new hub also includes access to the Women’s Sports Network (WSN) as well as content like Keke Palmer’s The Longshots, dance reality show Bring It!, and Megan Rapinoe–hosted docuseries Prodigy.
The trend: FAST channels are all the rage thanks to their similarities to the cable model, and the Roku Channel may be the industry’s poster child — it has 70M active streaming accounts and outperformed ad revenue projections in Q4 2022. Women’s sports have also hopped on the FAST bandwagon with the WSN and DAZN’s new soccer platform.
- The new channels won’t be the broadcast industry’s big solution to its cord cutting problem but are being billed by some as “part of the answer” as these platforms will benefit when ad spend increases on all streaming platforms.
Zooming out: As the media industry determines if FAST channels are here to stay, betting on women’s sports is a prudent way to keep audiences around since they boast steady increases in viewership and advertising dollars. Maybe the rising tide can lift these boats, too?