(and Other Women’s Sports)
This article has been a long time in the making. I have been stewing on this for months, if not years! The more I think about it the more I need to vent. What is it? IT is the abysmal amount of TV and print media coverage for women’s golf events on the local and national levels.
My frustration really maxed out the weekend of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship. This is a MAJOR golf tournament for goodness sakes (edited version). The TV coverage was limited at best nationally, airing for 2 hours in the evening on The Golf Channel during the early rounds and faring slightly better for the final round with 3 hours of coverage on CBS.
The finish of the tournament was one of the most exciting climaxes we have witnessed in women’s golf with Brittany Lincicome squeezing out the win with a dramatic eagle on the 72nd and final hole. That evening while watching the local news I was hoping for a ‘mention’ of the event and a replay of that final hole. What happened?? Nothing! Zero! Zilch! As far as the Cincinnati, OH market was concerned there wasn’t even a LPGA Major golf event played that weekend. I can’t speak for all other markets but I feel safe in assuming it was pretty much ignored outside of Palm Springs, CA… and perhaps the Asian market.
This past week there were two women’s professional golf events being played in different parts of the world (LPGA-Corona Championship in Mexico and The Duramed FUTURES Tour Historic Brownsville Open in Texas) and NOTHING was covered on air. Meanwhile both the PGA and Nationwide Tour events received more than ample air time. I understand that contracts are established and negotiated between the respective tours and the television/media companies. I know the LPGA has a new 10-year contract with the Golf Channel and a new sponsor, JGolf, the Korean cable company that displaced SBS recently.
What I don’t understand is how in today’s world, the LPGA and Duramed FUTURES Tour are relegated to such limited and in most cases, non-existent coverage at so many of their events. The last we saw the women on TV was almost a month ago!!
Is this due to lack of interest in women’s golf?? Is it a lack of quality play?? Are the women not pretty enough (like all of the men that play are sooooo handsome, right??)? Perhaps it is the negotiating powers within the LPGA itself? I don’t know have the answers but I do know that the talent on these tours is deep and rich and they should be showcased as much as the men are.
There are two levels in play here, the national and the local sportscasters. Nationally women’s golf has been thrown a ‘bone’ in terms of airtime. Locally, there isn’t even a hint that women’s golf exists. To be fair, not even the non-major PGA events get a mention on most local TV markets but when the LPGA’s first major of the year goes completely unnoticed, the hairs on the back of my neck bristle!
Maybe Cincinnati is the only anti-women sports market in the world but I suspect it is only a part of the problem. If your market provides quality coverage please send in your comments. As for the national coverage that is up to the Tour officials to work on.
Thanks for letting me vent! Don’t get me started on this issue with all of the other women’s sports!!
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