Monday, April 22, 2019 | ePaper

Women footballers find the world is finally watching

  • Print
AFP, Paris :
During the first Women's World Cup in 1991, only fans in host nation China could watch games on television. This year's edition in France will be shown live in more than 200 countries.
FIFA, the governing body of world football, is aiming for a global audience of one billion for the 24-team women's football showcase that runs from June 7 to July 7.
The competition can help women's football emerge from the shadow of the men's game, particularly in Jamaica and South Africa, who have qualified for the first time.
In some countries, particularly where the national team excels, women's football has been more and more visible on TV with more and more women working as analysts and commentators. Audiences have been growing too.
In the United States, three-time world champions and four-times Olympic gold medallists, the biggest TV audience to view a football match was 27 million who tuned in for the 2015 World Cup final win over Japan, played in a convenient time zone in Vancouver, Canada.
In Japan, who won the 2011 World Cup and lost the 2012 London Olympics final, both against the United States, a women's match at the London Games drew a 30 percent share of the TV audience.
"There is a tradition of sport on TV that has been expressed through men's sport," said Laurent-Eric Le Lay, director of sports at France Television, one of the host broadcasters for the upcoming World Cup.
However, in France, advertising slots during women's matches shown on prime-time cost as little as half those shown during men's World Cup games.
"Women's football developed later. Maybe one day the trend will be reversed," explained Le Lay.
Attention is increasing though, and that is both a product of the rising level of the women's game and a stimulus to the rising level.
With standards being raised across the board, competition is improving all the time.
"The sporting show is of interest, a priori, only when there is a real opposition", said Yann Imine, a professor at Paris-Sud University where he specialises in the development of women's football.

More News For this Category

Surprised Nadal sees 'super solid' Djokovic exit Monte Carlo

Surprised Nadal sees 'super solid' Djokovic exit Monte Carlo

AP, Monaco :Surprised at seeing rival Novak Djokovic go out of the Monte Carlo Masters after an error-strewn performance, defending champion Rafael Nadal acknowledged he enjoyed some luck in

Dutch league game plan riles Feyenoord fans

Dutch league game plan riles Feyenoord fans

Agency :A decision by the Dutch football federation to postpone all premier league games ahead of Ajax's Champions League clash against Tottenham was criticised Saturday as having "broad and

Barty beats Azarenka as Australia and Belarus share Fed Cup spoils

Agency :Australia and Belarus shared the spoils on day one of their Fed Cup semi-final in Brisbane Saturday with Ashleigh Barty sweeping past Victoria Azarenka while Aryna Sabalenka ground

Orlando Magic's Nikola Vucevic (9) moves the ball against Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry (7) during the second half in Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Orlando, Fla on Friday.

Orlando Magic's Nikola Vucevic (9) moves the ball against Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry (7) during the second half in Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Orlando, Fla on Friday.

.

Brazilian tennis player Souza provisionally suspended

AP, London :Brazilian tennis player Joao Souza has been provisionally suspended again amid a corruption investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit.Souza had already been provisionally suspended on March 29

Defending champ Henderson tied for lead at Lotte Championship

Defending champ Henderson tied for lead at Lotte Championship

Agency :Canada's Brooke Henderson took another step towards defending her title, firing a three-under 69 for a share of the lead heading into the final round of the Lotte

Former Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop given four-year doping ban

Former Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop given four-year doping ban

BBC Online :Former Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop has received a four-year ban for doping.The Kenyan, a three-time world champion, tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition test

Simeone backs Costa after striker misses Atletico practice

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has come out in support of Diego Costa after the Spain striker reportedly refused to practice with the rest of the team.Simeone said Costa's

Barty to face Azarenka in Fed Cup semi

Barty to face Azarenka in Fed Cup semi

AFP, Brisbane :World number nine Ashleigh Barty will face her doubles partner and two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka in the Fed Cup semi-final between Australia and Belarus on Saturday.The pair

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez calls for win over Southampton to secure survival

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez calls for win over Southampton to secure survival

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is demanding one final push against Southampton to help his side secure Premier League survival.The sides meet at St James' Park on Saturday evening separated by