And every week, the conclusion is the same. More funding needs to be given to women’s sport. More airtime needs to be given to women’s sport.
And more women need to get involved in sport. More women need to play, more women need to compete, and more women need to watch.
But how do we actually get more women watching sport?
I mean – think back to the last time you actually went to a cricket game, or a football game, or a soccer game. Think back to the last time you sat down to watch a match on TV. The last time you bought a ticket to some kind of sporting event.
There will, of course, be those female sports fans that make it a regular commitment to go along to sports games.
But the great majority of women – although they might enjoy certain sports – don’t make watching it their priority. They’re incredibly busy, and with so many commitments, sport just becomes one that they can take or leave.
Even those who might watch one grand final or, say, the Olympics, won’t watch any particular sport regularly or necessarily keep up with what’s going on. They’ll just tune in at the last minute and say, “who’s playing? Okay, go Roosters!”
On Fairfax, former deputy sports editor Kathryn Wicks wrote that the reason for this was simply because women don’t have the time. No matter how well a woman might manage to juggle work and family life and everything else, she reckons it’s “nigh on impossible” to go along to any kind of sporting event:
I would love to spend six hours at a cricket ground watching two world-class batters slog it out. Instead I was at an under-13 boys game, like any good mother would have been.
I would have loved to have watched all of the netball. But I was working.
I’d love to watch the Matildas but I will probably collapse exhausted at the end of the working week and sleep through it.
She has a point. Sport needs to be better suited to women, and it needs to be compelling for both women and men – as it needs both audiences. But there’s work to be done in order to get these women watching.
I had a chat this week to US marketing guru Dan Migala – who pointed out to me that women play a HUGE part in the sporting world because of how it connects to their friends and family. Especially women aged 35 and older. In fact, women purchase 80% of all sport apparel dollars and purchase 46% of official NFL merchandise.