The Women’s Sports Network (WSN), an ad-supported channel focused on female athletes, has secured rights to ice hockey’s newly launched Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL).

The agreement has seen WSN become the PWHL’s first US media partner, gaining extensive live coverage of the PWHL throughout the regular and post-season starting from last night’s (February 14) game between Boston and Toronto.

The league also has a broadcast partnership with TSN and RDS, the Canadian sports networks owned by multimedia firm Bell Media, for this year’s inaugural season, which it shows across its linear television channels and the TSN+ streaming service, with French-language coverage available on RDS.

Sportsnet, the cable sports broadcaster owned by Canadian telecommunications group Rogers Communication is also broadcasting select games this season on its main Sportsnet channel and Sportsnet+ platform.

WSN president Carol Stiff said: “The work that the PWHL has done to elevate professional women's hockey is incredible, and we're looking forward to showcasing the highest level of women's hockey in America on WSN.”

The channel was launched by US-based video streaming investment firm Fast Studios in November 2022, offering 24 hours of original programming, past competitions, and documentaries from 12 professional sports leagues and federations, including basketball’s WNBA, golf’s LPGA, hockey’s PHF, US Ski and Snowboard, Athletes Unlimited, and World Surf League, among others.

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At the time, Fast Studios said the channel would broadcast live matches and tournaments in the future and be available through streaming services such as Amazon’s Freevee, Fox Corp-owned Tubi, and FuboTV, as well as on smart televisions.

The PWHL’s inaugural regular season started on January 1 and will feature 72 games through May 5, followed by the playoffs.

The league features three teams in the US – Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the New York City area – and three teams in Canada – Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa.

The league has secured several commercial partners for its inaugural season, including regional airline Air Canada, equipment manufacturer CCM Hockey, and Canadian Tire Corporation. 

Amy Scheer, PWHL senior vice president of business operations, said: “The PWHL is young and vibrant, and our games feature world-class athletes with compelling stories to share. We know WSN will tell those stories exceptionally well.

“This partnership will connect PWHL games and content with the ever-growing audience on WSN's platforms, creating a true destination for outstanding coverage of our sport and our league.”

The league set an attendance record for a professional women’s hockey match with 8,318 fans at the opener between Ottawa and Montreal at The Arena at TD Place, stripping the previous record of 7,765 people attending the championship game of the 2021-22 Svenska Damhockeyligan, the Swedish Women's Hockey League, between Brynäs and Luleå.

That number also beat the previous North American record of 8,122 at the 2017 Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) All-Star Game in Toronto, and the previous North American record for a regular-season professional women’s hockey game was 5,938 in 2016 in the CWHL match between Les Canadiennes de Montreal and the Calgary Inferno.