72% of the French would like to see more women’s sports on television

The Women’s European Football Championship starts on Wednesday 6 July. A sporting event that you can watch from the comfort of your sofa, as the matches are fully broadcast by TF1. A small step for the great history of women’s sport that is only slowly being made known at the same level as men’s sport. We make an inventory.

Media attention for women’s sports: that’s what the French are waiting for

55% of the French say they follow women’s sports in the media. 72% would like to see more on TV† This is apparent from a very recent study by the TF1 group with the journal Causette. The survey, conducted by Access Panel ToLuna, ran from April 29 to May 3, 2022 and analyzed the responses of 694 people, ages 18-64.

With the emphasis on women’s sports in a broad sense, the aspect of media attention is particularly relevant. Or 89% of respondents believe that the media plays a role in the visibility and development of women’s sportsHowever, 85% think that it is not present enough, especially not on television.

And rightly so, according to figures from the CSA and the Ministry of Sports, sportswomen only have the right to 19 to 20% of the total hourly volume that the channels spend on sports† So yes, it’s a growing number. Between 2011 and 2019, the screen time allocated to women’s events has increased by 248%. But we are still far from perfect parity

A story of understatement and prejudice

The question that burns everyone’s lips: why does the media attention for women’s sports lag so behind? The answer is primarily rooted in prejudice. Indeed, if you put it to one (or almost) of your male counterparts, he will most likely answer you ‘But that’s because the girls are less good’ Where “because their matches are less impressive and therefore less interesting”

Like it or not, society is still characterized by a thousand and one stereotypes by means oflate history of high-level women† Now, this is what the chains understand as a… possibly lower audiencemeaning less money to be won.

The French Women’s Soccer Team at Euro 2019

In 2019, the Women’s World Cup broke audience recordsplaces its final as the most watched program of the year, ahead of the Enfoirés concert or the French series Charity Bazaar† Anyway, chains are still reluctant when it comes to betting on women’s sports† In the special summer issue of Causette, Sacha Nokovitch, the media specialist for the newspaper l’Équipe, states the following:

“In 2019, the BeIn station decided to stop broadcasting women’s handball because it felt it was not profitable”

It is a vicious circle : impression that there is no audience, no distribution, no visibility, few fans so no distribution, little money for the clubs, no investment so few fans, impression that there is no audience… In other words, it is a complicated story .

So who will take the risky gamble to make the first move? Catherine Lallementthe advisor to the former Minister of Sport Roxana Maracineanu, explained to us last March that:in her view, the entire ecosystem, namely the media and federations, had to be mobilised, trusted and engaged

“We have launched a consultation to include women’s sporting events in the list of high-profile events that are protected and therefore mandatorily offered to free-to-air broadcasters,” she assured at the time, convinced of the important lever for action. that this could form. †

2022: hope for the best for women’s sports

If for years the only sports that television wanted to broadcast were those competing in mixed championships such as tennis or the Olympics, all-female events are slowly starting to make their way† The year 2022 was particularly encouraging in this regard.

In a few days and until July 31, thewomen’s football euro is broadcast in full by the channels of TF1 group† This will also be the case in October 2022 for the Women’s Rugby World Cup and in November 2022 for theladies handball euro† From July 24, the public group France Televisions will broadcast the whole first edition of the Tour de France for women

During the year we were also able to women’s six-country tournament† As saying this gives hope for a better future for the media attention for women’s sports. To be continued…