tv

Time for a women’s sports and fitness channel?

At espnW, former WNBA president Val Ackerman explores women’s sports on TV with consultant Neil Pilson, who mixes some blunt assessments of the broadcasting landscape with a couple of interesting ideas, such as this:

One possibility would be to have [the channel] show more than just women’s sports. See if you could link with women’s health. See if you could link to some form of children’s programming that would link daughters and mothers together.

So would a women’s sports and fitness channel make sense? Particularly if it’s part of a larger sports/entertainment company that offers cross-promotion? (In other words, the dedicated channel would show a lot of women’s sports, while the “main” channel would pick up big events and highlights.)

And if ESPN doesn’t do it, would Fox (now launching a full-fledged ESPN rival) or NBC (building on soccer and Olympic sports) consider it?

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  1. I’m torn on this concept. While exposure is good, there can be problems. For example, I love the idea of ESPN W. The execution, in my opinion, has not been the greatest. While they bring in big names and talk about serious subjects, it frequently seems like a gossip magazine. I know that the landscape of journalism and sports journalism is different these days and things like addressing homophobia in sports often shares headlines with record-breaking performances and big trades but if female athletes expect to be recognized as sports that just happens to be played by women and not Women’s Sports, they have to be presented professionally. Female broadcasters have come a long way, not just by bringing a visually attractive presence to sidelines and sports desks but by being educated, well-spoken sports fanatics who just happen to be female. An ESPN W-like channel could be a serious sports outlet. There are more than enough competitions to fill the time. My opinion is that a channel including fitness, mother & child, and other important but more recreational themes could comprise a whole additional channel.

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