Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

NWHL Continues To Make History For Women’s Hockey


The day has finally come and it’s about time!!! It took some time, but women’s hockey has arrived on the main stage with Tuesday’s announcement of the NWHL Isobel Cup Semifinals and Finals inside the Lake Placid bubble will be televised exclusively on NBCSN in February.

NWHL and NBC Make History

Why is this important you asked? Well, this is the first time ever outside of the Olympics that a women’s professional hockey league will be featured on a major cable network. Not to mention NBCSN has ties to the NHL. And we have seen the NHL features women’s hockey at their All-Star Game. But now having a major television partner opens even more doors and that is a big deal. Normally, women’s hockey would be relegated to NHL Network as saw in the rivalry series between Canada and the United States. Even worse women’s hockey has to cut deals with streaming services like Twitch, ESPN+, and services like that. While it is not the main NBC, it is better than being featured on NBC’s streaming service Peacock.

Just Give The Ladies A Chance

We have seen throughout sports the system is rigged against smaller professional sports leagues. We have always heard that women’s hockey doesn’t sell. Nobody will watch women’s hockey. But if you ask someone during the Olympics what game they like better they say the women’s game. Because it is very fast faced paced and wide open. And as the numbers show, more people watch the women’s game than the men’s game. And the highest rated segment of the 2020 All-Star Game was the 3-on-3 game featuring women’s hockey players from the United States and Canada. But all we ever hear is that women’s hockey and sports will never be watched. That mentality has to change.

It is like in college football, we have to get rid of the mentality about the little schools. We have preconceived notions about certain teams and how they can’t compete on the big stage. Which isn’t true. The same thing goes for women’s hockey. But what 2020 has shown us is that if you put it on television people will watch. The WNBA and NWSL were given a platform and performed well. They saw an increase in viewership and set record ratings no matter what the naysayers said. Just like with the WNBA and NWSL, the NWHL is looking to increase its fan base and connect new and old fans with teams and players.

The Game Is Changing For The Better

NBC Sports is a step up compared to Twitch and ESPN+ (which broadcasted some of the PWHPA games back in February). While these streaming services are good and helped grow the game, getting on a national stage will help even more. Twitch gave the NWHL a platform when there wasn’t any. But there are still problems especially during All-Star Game last year. In the case of ESPN+, the camera angle was in such a poor spot that it was hard to follow the game. It is great that they helped out the women’s game, but a big network is what the women’s game really needed. And they finally got it with NBC Sports.

If all goes well with the semifinals and finals, maybe we will see women’s hockey on the main stage more often than just every four years.

What To Expect

The NWHL will be entering its sixth season. The season and 2021 Isobel Cup Playoffs inside Herb Brooks Arena on the 1980 Rink in Lake Placid, NY. The season will be played between January 23 – February 5th. The competition will feature the NWHL’s six teams – Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and first-year expansion club the Toronto Six.

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