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Archive for June 6, 2018

June 6, 2018 — The conundrum of women’s soccer

The history of sanctioned U.S. Soccer Federation Division I leagues for women only dates back to 2001 with the launch of the WUSA. And yet, the three iterations of pro women’s soccer in America — the WUSA, WPS, and NWSL — have never really found a television home.

That was driven home today with the announcement that Lifetime was offloading seven NWSL games which will now be broadcast on ESPNews.

Lifetime is the latest television partner which has dumped women’s soccer like a hot rock, following TNT, Pax, and Oxygen.

It’s Oxygen and Lifetime which, I feel, need a bit of a recentering when it comes to their mission. Both of these networks say that they cater to an overwhelmingly female audience, but are missing out on content which will bring in more eyes to their screens.

Thing is, they also got out of broadcasting WNBA games by 2003, and the league is still going.

The problem is, both of these networks seem to only want to re-run 15-year-old docudramas or “women in trouble” movies.

And that’s a shame.