Anna Edwards, Sky Sports News Producer of ‘Sportswomen’ and WST guest blogger talks ‘progress for women’s sport’.
It was great for Sky Sports to be involved in a really successful evening, hosted by the Women’s Sport Trust last week. The #BeAGameChanger Awards were a good opportunity to showcase the great work that is going on to put women’s sport on the map. Congratulations to all the winners, to those nominated on the night and to the WST for putting on the evening.
There was a lot of discussion at my table and among the guests at the Awards about what the media are doing to show more women’s sport. It was really refreshing to get the acknowledgement from the stage that things are really changing for the better from the broadcasters.
Sky Sports have played a huge part in this change and pride ourselves on the work we are doing on air and behind the scenes with our partners and governing bodies. We have been showing women’s sport for over 20 years and will show more live women’s sport this year than ever before with our viewers enjoying women’s sport programming every week of 2015.
The Awards really kick started an exciting few months for Sky Sports as we prepare to show the best of women’s sport live across our platforms this summer. Viewers can look forward to every ball of the Women’s Ashes and we’ll televise a women’s Test match for the very first time. We will continue to broadcast the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour golf as we gear up to the Solheim Cup in September. Racket sports are also on the agenda with the National Badminton League and US Open tennis all on the schedule. We will have a Sky Sports News HQ crew in Canada with all the latest newslines from the England World Cup camp. And following another superb and exciting Netball Super League conclusion, we now turn our attention to the Netball World Cup in Australia – all live (but you’ll need to set the alarm clocks if you want to join us!)
Netball was highlighted as a topic of conversation at the Awards which is a real testament to the live coverage Sky Sports has produced for the past 11 years. Monday Night Netball has become a weekly routine for fans of the Superleague. A sold out Copper Box highlighted the demand from spectators as well as from viewers. Netball is a fine example of what makes for a great live sporting event for a broadcaster. The drama, energy, passion, emotion and athleticism that netball produces makes it pretty exciting stuff to watch on TV.
All this makes for great content and talking points for the Sportswomen programme that airs every Tuesday on Sky Sports News HQ at 11:30 and on Sky Sports 3 Tuesday evening at 7pm. Sportswomen has been on air since 2013 and I am personally really proud at how agenda setting it is and unafraid to ask the questions that women in sport have.
A few people said to me at the Awards that they don’t have a Sky Sports subscription. The NOW TV pass is a popular way for viewers to access the women’s sport they want to watch. We also broadcast a repeat of the Sportswomen programme on Sky Living every Sunday.
Our support for women’s sport is threefold – investment, promotion and through support & partnership. We support the call for more organisation from governing bodies to get a clear message out about their women’s sport calendar.
Next on the agenda for us now is Women’s Sport Week (June 1-7). In its inaugural year, we are looking forward to using this week to talk about women’s sport, encourage women back to sport and discuss and debate all the breaking news.