More TV coverage of women's sport: govt9 October 2012
GAMES: Television broadcasters need to invest in showcasing women's sport with the current lack of coverage "perplexing", the federal sport minister says.
Women's sport is trapped in a vicious cycle where lack of television coverage means it is unable to attract sponsorship and revenue, Sport Minister Kate Lundy told the inaugural Asia Pacific world sport and women conference in Melbourne.
"Why is it, once the Olympic and Paralympics are switched off, that gender stereotypes are switched back on our TV sets?" she said on Monday.
"I am continually perplexed as to why the ratings received during those big international events, like the Olympic and Paralympics, do not inform and ultimately change the mind of our broadcast and corporate decision makers in their editorial decision on our coverage."
Ms Lundy said lack of exposure was a vicious cycle for women's sport.
"Women's sport needs sponsors to earn revenue to grow," she said.
"Sponsors don't come without exposure, without an opportunity to broadcast there is no exposure. Thus no sponsors and no increased revenue."
Ms Lundy said the key was broadcasters experiencing a change in editorial decision making to invest and develop content.
"We know and the evidence is there that the audience comes when this is done."
Lack of revenue meant there was no chance to reinvest in grassroots women's sports, professionalise the industry and pay female sports players a living wage, Ms Lundy said.
Ms Lundy also announced the introduction of a new gender equality unit within the government's Australian Sports Commission to promote women's sport.
The unit has the current in-principle support of the board's chair but is yet to be formalised.