In the media, the power of promotion and hype allows some sports to seemingly dominate our attention and interest when they are deemed “worthy,” while other sports are simply pushed aside.
Recently, this scenario become gleamingly obvious with the unusual heavy coverage of the U Sports women’s basketball final between McMaster and Laval this past Sunday. This event was given the royal treatment from Sportsnet, including a full broadcast team complete with an in-studio panel, the best camera crews, an attractive venue with quality lightning, and lots of additional promotions. The treatment they received more closely resembled a professional game than a usual Canadian women’s college basketball game.
With 1,684 fans on hand to witness the victory first hand, McMaster trumped Laval 70-58 with fifth-year player Linnaea Harper winning MVP honours.
So why is Canadian women’s college basketball suddenly receiving this type of attention and treatment? This raises the question of why this competition was worthy of this treatment for only one sole event. The answer to this question boils down to not whether audiences are interested in U Sports competitions, but whether or not the media cares about them sufficeintly and deems the content as “worthy”.
Historically, women’s sports have rarely gotten this level of coverage, with men’s sports typically dominating sports coverage and public interest. Is this the case because the interest simply isn’t there? Or is it really because the media has chosen for us by deeming it unworthy?