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Thread: Womens sports saw pivotal growth in deals, interest in 2022...

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    Womens sports saw pivotal growth in deals, interest in 2022...

    Women’s sports saw pivotal growth in deals, interest in 2022...


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    South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has been around women’s basketball long enough to see the growing pains of a young WNBA league gradually shifting to increased interest in the sport at all levels. “We probably are bursting at the seams for the people that are decision-makers in our game to allow us to be just that,” said Staley, who led the Gamecocks to their second women’s hoops title this year.

    Popularity across women’s sports has grown steadily over the past few years, but 2022 marked a pivotal moment as several sports saw increases in viewership and ratings, sponsorship deals and prime-time coverage.

    This past WNBA regular season was the most watched since 2006. And storylines were plentiful as the league contended with the detainment of Phoenix Mercury center and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner and the retirement of one of the league’s most popular players in Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird.

    According to ESPN, which aired 25 regular-season games and the entire postseason, the 2022 playoffs averaged 456,000 viewers — up 22% over 2021’s postseason — making it the most-viewed WNBA postseason since 2007. The WNBA draft averaged 403,000 viewers, which was the most since Diana Taurasi was the top pick in 2004.




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