March 9, 2022 

ESPN debuts women’s basketball fantasy game

New fantasy game signifies women's sports popularity boom

On Monday, ESPN announced its brand new ESPN Fantasy Women’s Basketball game. The contest will join the suite of other ESPN Fantasy sports and is one of the first full-scale, season-long major women’s sports fantasy games.

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The game’s inaugural season will begin in early April in time for the upcoming WNBA season’s May 6 start.

Other than ESPN’s product, has provided a season-long fantasy option since 2019. DraftKings and FanDuel have also offered WNBA betting since 2017, although the offerings are limited. 

According to ESPN’s press release, the game “will be supported with analytical tools and editorial insights to help fans with their drafts, manage rosters, make trades, and more.” 

Like the rest of the ESPN Fantasy suite, the game will have both mobile and online options.

ESPN’s impetus for the game’s creation is the current momentum around women’s sports. They cited the WNBA’s tremendous viewership increase, the league’s $75 million capital gains campaign and ESPN’s cross-platform women’s sports growth.

This news comes soon after the official 2022 WNBA season was recently announced. The 26th season will have 25 regular season games broadcast by the Disney Networks. These 25 games will be nationally aired across ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. Another 40 games will be available through CBS Television Network and CBS Sports Network, and the remaining games will be available via NBA TV, Amazon Prime Video, Facebook Watch, or WNBA League Pass.

Not only are women’s sports growing, but the fantasy market is similarly proving itself to be lucrative. As of 2021, the entire fantasy market had an estimated $22.3 billion dollar price tag. The absence of a major fantasy provider is a gap in the market for avid women’s basketball fans.

The addition of women’s basketball to the market is likely to be a hit for both fans and providers.

Written by Gabriella Lewis

Gabriella is The Next's Atlanta Dream and SEC beat reporter. She is a Bay Area native currently studying at Emory University.

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