Seven Network securing the TV rights to the Women’s Rugby League World cup has been a huge story in Women’s Rugby League.
But why does it matter, it’s just another TV deal, right?
It matters because it’s history that female rugby league players have been waiting years for. It’s a big deal because it’s a huge step for the game that’s only taken smaller steps in including female players.
For the first time, a national women’s rugby league game will be broadcast live on free to air TV. The best female players in the world will be able to be seen live, in the biggest competition in rugby league, the World Cup. The commentary and broadcast team will also feature two women who are known for playing a contact sport or rugby league, Renee Gartner and Allana Ferguson. If anything, we should be seeing more attention on this.
Female participation in rugby league is rapidly growing, more girls than ever are playing the game from juniors, to open competition. We have State of Origin Teams, City vs Country teams and a national team, and apparently NRL teams are only a few years away, yet this is the first TV deal. It sounds almost unreal that in a time of live television and media in its prime, this is the first time this is happening.
Maybe it’s because there’s not enough revenue, that the views won’t be high enough. But is that excuse valid anymore? With social media, television and Women in League Round, its inevitable that there isn’t any revenue and interest. Fox League’s post of Ruan Sims’ Hit of the Week in the Interstate Challenge was shared 2,354 times, had 3.3K comments and 9.1K likes. All of these people and their friends saw the video, and at least those that did comment, share of like clearly had some interest in the game. If a short video can get that much interest in the Interstate Challenge, how much interest can we get in World Cup Game?
So with that excuse out of the way, what else is there? What reason is that the women’s game shouldn’t have more coverage?
Channel Seven has started it now we just need more companies and channels to jump on board