Women’s Tennis Players Don’t Get The Same Media Coverage As Men

This is more of a journalism problem than a gender problem.

The International Tennis Federation did a study into gender equality in the media coverage of the business of tennis and came up with an indictment of the sports media. The study found that women’s tennis receives less attention than the men’s game which is not really a surprise. But when there is coverage of women’s tennis there is a difference in how men’s tennis is reported and how women’s tennis is reported. The media’s coverage of women’s tennis results of on court action seems to be an afterthought. There are some not so subtle differences between the journalistic coverage of the men players in comparison to the women players.

Women players are twice as likely as male counterparts to have their age mentioned in tennis reporting and female players’ health and medical treatment is also twice as likely to be mentioned. There also seems to be a soap opera type narrative to the women’s tennis reporting. On the men’s side the coverage seems to focus on the on-court action and personal tennis history, while on the women’s side, there seems to be far more attention paid to the women players’ families and the player’s wardrobe. The ITF research was limited to English, French, Spanish and Chinese media coverage. In the United States, there is television and video coverage available but women’s tennis and women’s sports are not a staple of sports talk radio, local TV news reports and in what is left of newspaper sports sections. The ITF also reviewed internet search engines. What it found was not good for women’s tennis. Google search results were analyzed, looking for the “top 50 tennis players”. Women players turned up in only six of the 50 results returned. Social issues are pointed out in women’s tennis coverage. It’s just tennis journalism.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191