ABC trims women’s sports

The ABC is under fire for cutting coverage of two women’s national leagues.

The WNBL and the W-League will now be broadcast in back-to-back one-hour highlights packages on ABC1, instead of live games or full match replays.

Live games will still be available online on the ABC’s website, with the W-League also streamed on the Football Federation Australia’s website.

“The Opals, our women’s national basketball team, has just returned home from the London Olympics with it’s fifth straight medal,” said Association national president, Mrs Janice Crosswhite.

“The decision smacks of discrimination and sexism, and is a step backwards and takes us back into the dark ages.”

A Football Federation Australia official said the decision was made in conjunction with the ABC after viewing figures year-on-year for the W-League fell by more than 45,000.

“We made a decision to get more viewers and more awareness to the sport in what is possibly a better timeslot,” the official said.

An ABC representative said the decision to put the W-League and the WNBL on a “slight delay” was no different to Nine’s coverage of  Sunday NRL.

“There is no one more committed to promoting women’s sport than the ABC,” he said.

“The format of the telecast will be 60 minutes in order to remove timeouts, half-times.”

Source: smh.com.au, The Australian

5 Comments:

  1. “The decision smacks of discrimination and sexism, and is a step backwards and takes us back into the dark ages.”

    What a ridiculous statement! Cutbacks have affected much of ABC’s programming. Shows that were much more popular than women’s sport have disappeared completely!

  2. As someone with connections to the WNBL I am extremely disappointed with this decision. I thought media coverage of women’s basketball was moving forward, especially with Lauren Jackson playing this season and the recent Olympics. Hopefully Foxtel might pick it up.

  3. “The decision smacks of discrimination and sexism, and is a step backwards and takes us back into the dark ages.” Very disappointed that they would pull the sexism card…

    I actually think this will be better! Not for the hardcore, watch every second fan, but for everyone else, highlights are better.

  4. If Disney-ABC would increase their Australian broadcast team, they could start broadcasting Australian content. ESPN Australia are the best place for basketball (being the only Australian broadcaster of NBA), and would be stupid not to consider broadcasting NBL and WNBL games (especially seems though there is still outrage against TEN Sports for their delayed coverage of NBL and netball).

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