Comparison of Women's and Men's Professional Sports: Advertising Cost

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Comparison of Women's and Men's Professional Sports: Advertising Cost

Key Takeaways


We have provided the cost of 30-second advertising on TV for the NBA. After an extensive search through the public domain, we could not find any information on how much a 30-second TV spot costs for the remaining men's and women's games. Therefore, we have provided other comparable metrics, such as ad revenue generated, ad impressions, viewership, e.t.c., to help understand the business side of the sport.

30-Second Advertising Cost


Other Helpful Findings, e.g., Ad Revenue, Viewership, Ad Impressions



  • The WNBA reportedly generates $60 million in annual revenue. According to Statista, the WNBA 2021 regular season games were watched by an average of 306,000 viewers on ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC.
  • According to ESPN, the 2021 WNBA Finals were viewed by an average of 548,000 people throughout four games.

Men's Soccer

Women's Soccer

  • In 2021, an average of 401,913 people watched the US Women National Team games.

Major League Soccer

National Women League Soccer


  • The 2022 PGA Tour Canadian Open final round attracted an average of 2.78 million viewers on CBS. The viewership hit 3.67 million as Rory McIlroy clinched his second consecutive Canadian open. The third round of the tournament was viewed by 1.96 million people.
  • According to, $157 million was spent by brands nationally for the PGA Tour during the first half of 2021. During the 2021 PGA Tour, FedEx's Moving Forward TV commercial cost $1.4 million; Genesis spent $610,000 on its Creating Tomorrow, Today spot; the AT&T Connect & Learn ad cost $1.9 million; Dell Technologies' Stop at Nothing ad cost $1.1 million; while Corona Premier spent $1.4 million on its Winning and Playing commercial.


  • According to Sports Media Watch, the LPGA Classic was viewed by 706,000 people.
  • As per the Golf Channel, the LPGA Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament averaged 237,000 viewers on the Golf Channel, its best viewership record.

Men's Tennis

Women's Tennis

  • According to Essentially Sports, the 2021 US Open women's tennis final between teenagers Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez had 2.442 million viewers.
  • The US Open women's tennis semifinals have had more viewership than the men's finals from 2017 to 2020. According to experts and commentators, for the fifth time in seven years, more people have watched the women's final compared to the men's final.

Men's Swimming

  • In 2021, the US Men Olympics Swimming Trials were viewed by an average of 2.7 million viewers per session on NBC.

Men's Figure Skating

Women's Figure Skating

Research Strategy

To provide the requested information on the cost of 30-second advertising on TV for the assigned sports, we first searched through marketing and advertising sources such as iSpot.TV, Ad Age, and Adweek, among others. Right off the bat, we realized that the cost of a 30-second spot during the assigned sports, including their finals, is not available in the public domain. These marketing and advertising sources, especially usually provides an advertising recap at the end of major sporting events in the US, measuring total ad spend, ad impressions, top ads, e.t.c. However, none of the reports published by discusses the unit cost of running a single ad. These advertising and marketing sources also analyze a few of the assigned sports, especially the men's sports such as the NBA and the PGA Tour.

Next, we consulted sports news and media sources such as Sports Business Journal, Sportico, and many more. These sources report on the ad revenue generated by some of the most popular sports in the US. While we were able to glean some helpful information on the NBA ad revenue and cost of a 30-second TV spot, we could not find any other information from these sources about the other assigned sports.

We also attempted to triangulate the cost of a 30-second TV ad using the available information, such as a brand's estimated ad spend and the number of ads they had run, for example, during the NBA season. However, some of the data points are not available in the public domain.

Finally, we consulted ad tracking firms such as Edo Inc, audience measurement sources such as Nielsen, statistics sources such as Statista, and other third-party sports media sources to determine the ad revenue, total revenue, and viewership statistics of the assigned men and women's sports to provide helpful findings that may help in comparing the business side of both men and women's sports in the US. The cost of 30-second advertising on TV for some of the assigned sports is only available for the sport’s finals, e.g., the NBA finals. For most of the sports, we could not find the cost of a 30-second TV spot. Therefore, we have provided other helpful findings on the ad revenue generated, ad impressions, e.t.c., to help understand the business end of the sport. In some cases, we expanded the geographic scope globally since there was little to no information on some sports in the US.

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