On March 14, Michael Messner, an expert in the sociology of sports at the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, spoke to Ms. Magazine about the lack of coverage of women’s sports in the media.
He has been collecting research on the prevalence of women’s sports in the media, and comparing the coverage to past years. He found that during the three to five minute sports-news segments of LA’s three TV networks in 1989, only 5 percent was devoted to women’s sports, and that rate held through 1993. It spiked to 9 percent in 1999, but dipped to 6.3 percent in 2004 and slumped to nearly 1.5 percent in 2009.
Messner concluded that compared to the huge growth of women’s sports teams, especially in college, in the past decade, women’s sports coverage is woefully disproportionate. According to Messner’s 2010 survey, 99.1 percent of colleges have a women’s basketball team. Furthermore the USC women’s basketball team is a consistent leader in the Pac-10 conference.
Alex Luizzi, a junior majoring in psychology, said he simply watches men’s sports because it is more prominent on TV.
“The only reason I watch men’s sports more often is because it’s publicized more often and it’s usually what’s on,” said Alex Luizzi, a Junior in Psychology. “You never see women’s sports on the top headlines.”