The inclusion of women’s sports is rare among news media outlets, according to a new study published in Communication & Sport.
Over at the University of Southern California (USC), in collaboration with Purdue University, researchers conducted surveys, and in 2019, demonstrated how men’s sports was the focus of ESPN sports coverage. However, when it came to women’s sports, the television coverage was nearly nonexistent.
“News media focus on the ‘big three’ men’s sports –football, basketball and baseball–creating audience knowledge about and excitement for the same sporting events over and over,” said Michael Messner of USC, in a news release.
“Meanwhile, women’s sports continue to get short shrift, which is significant when you consider the larger picture of girls’ and women’s efforts to achieve equal opportunities, resources, pay and respect in sports,” Messner added.
According to the findings, 80 percent of the news and highlights they studied dedicated no time to women’s sports.
From the study: “Daily sports news and highlights shows’ continuing failure to equitably cover women’s sports mutes women’s historic movement into sport and the impressive accomplishments of women athletes, as it continues to legitimize greater material rewards for men athletes, while shoring up stubbornly persistent ideologies of male superiority.”