home Research, Women in Sport Media By the Numbers: Vol 3

By the Numbers: Vol 3

We had a day this week that made it to double digits! 

How tragic that we’re celebrating that…

This week’s analysis of the mainstream media coverage didn’t change too much from what we’ve seen unfortunately. Numbers were insignificantly higher on the weekend with a 1% bump on Saturday and Sunday and Friday April 24 saw our double figure day. Most of the coverage tallied for this day was centred around the reporting of Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle tendering her resignation.

There was a bit going this week though in terms of sports news, without the actual sports.

Sports news this week mostly revolved around several AFLW awards being handed, out including the AFLPA awards and some club’s best and fairest awards. But we also saw Liz Cambage re-sign to Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA and it was fantastic to see her grace the cover of this month’s Elle magazine.

We also saw the Suncorp Super Netball league announce that player pay reductions until 31 May will be capped at 50%. The WNBL also joined the Basketball Australia taskforce to manage the impacts of COVID-19 on women’s basketball. 

UK based journalist Isabelle Westbury created a brilliant thread on Twitter about this issue. From her observations of the current sports journalism in the UK, the scene is just as dismal, especially when you look at the journalists and writers of sports, as well as the coverage of women’s sports. 

 Check out her thread here:

In her newsletter Power Plays, our friend Lindsay Gibbs also looked at the coverage of the recent WNBA Draft in the context.

The WNBA draft coverage in the US averaged 387, 000 viewers on ESPN which was up 123% from last year and up 33% since the last airing of the event on ESPN’s main channel in 2011. Amazing.

Lindsay writes on the missed opportunities of the broadcasters to capitalise on this event in the window of no live sporting events, opportunities that were of course seized by media for the NFL draft the following week. 

“When the WNBA draft was first announced, it was scheduled to be on ESPN2. Within 24 hours, it was moved to ESPN, which was a relief considering there are zero live sports happening right now. Unfortunately, the coverage of the entire WNBA draft, which was three rounds and 36 picks total, was squished into a two-hour broadcast window. This meant that while ESPN did give some individual coverage to the first 16 picks of the draft, the final 20 picks were rushed through so quickly that it was impossible to keep track.” 

Read her full piece on the WNBA Draft here.

We will record the coverage for one more week in partnership with Swinburne to round out the month. We really hope we can start to see some change in this trend come through soon. 

Week 2 Coverage:

Week 1 Coverage:

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