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Should Men And Women’s Sports Get Equal TV Coverage?

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© Jeffrey F Lin

England’s victory over Scotland at the Women’s World Cup attracted an average audience of 4.6 million people, compared with 550,000 for men’s cricket.

However, despite this, four out of 10 people in the UK do not believe women’s sports should get equal TV coverage to men’s sports.

That’s according to a survey from specialist insurer Insure4Sport, which went out to 2,000 people nationwide.

A third of the survey’s female respondents said they prefer watching men play sport over women. When asked to explain why they felt this way, these were the responses they gave…

·       I think women lack enthusiasm.

·       I find them slow, weak and boring.

·       It’s not natural for a woman to play these types of sports.

·       Women look daft playing football.

·       I think sports are mostly for men.

With opinions like these still prevalent, it’s little wonder that a staggering 92% of female respondents said they have never considered a career in sport. This is despite the push to get more women into sport through campaigns such as This Girl Can.

These are not the only shocking statistics to have come out of the survey…

The nation’s viewing habits

Out of the 22 sports that respondents were questioned on, volleyball and hockey were the only two where they were more likely to watch the women’s game.

When asked why they watch fewer women’s sports, respondents recognised that the lack of TV and media coverage plays a major role, with 1 in 4 stating this as their reason.

However, nearly 30% of respondents answered that they prefer watching men’s sports because ‘women are less entertaining’, while 1 in 4 answered that ‘women are inferior at sport’.

Another interesting finding was around the perception of women within the media.

Despite the increasing number of sportswomen within the mainstream British media – with Alex Scott regularly featuring as a pundit on Match Of The Day – more than a third of respondents don’t feel the opinions of female sports commentators and pundits are as valid as those of their male counterparts.

Male vs female prize money

The subject of whether sportswomen should get the same prize money as sportsmen divided opinion.

Although nearly three-quarters of respondents agree that the Wimbledon winning prize fund should be the same for men and for women, 40% of men believe male footballers deserve to be paid more than female footballers.

These results are reflective of a wider issue within sports. While the prize money is the same for both the men’s and women’s Wimbledon singles champions, The 2019 Women’s World Cup prize money is $30 million—7.5% of the Men’s World Cup prize.

The conclusions to be drawn

Cyclist Lizzie Deignan, former World road race champion Olympic silver medallist, said of the findings: “While this survey shows that attitudes towards women’s sport are changing, particularly amongst the younger generations, there is obviously still a long way to go to achieve parity in sport.

“Hopefully greater coverage of female participation, combined with more national campaigns such as This Girl Can, will continue to change attitudes towards women in sport for the better.

The more that other women see female role models the more I hope women all of all ages will be encouraged to take part in sport themselves and hopefully more people of both sexes will watch women’s sport at an elite level.”

For more findings from Insure4Sport’s survey, please visit: