The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) reveals plans for greater diversity in listed sports events.
Talking at the Westminster Media Forum Sports Broadcasting event this morning, Alastair Jones, head of UK television policy at DCMS, revealed plans to add a number of women’s and disability sports to the list of ‘crown jewel’ sporting events that must be shown on free-to-air TV.
The Women’s FA Cup, Six Nations, and other women’s events that are the equivalent of men’s events already listed are under consideration.
At the event, Jones said: “The listed events regime works to strengthen the diversity and equality of sports broadcasting coverage, and reflect that non-disabled men aren’t the only people who can play sports to a high level. The list should be there to encourage participation and inspire people from different parts of society.”
He continued: “In July, we consulted on adding the summer and winter Paralympics, and in September we looked at whether to add the women’s equivalent of sporting events where men’s events are currently listed. For example, the women’s FA Cup to the A list and the women’s Six Nations to the B list. This consultation closed in December, responses are being analysed, and unfortunately I can’t announce any decisions today but will announce decisions in due course.”
The FIFA Women’s World Cup reached 28.1 million viewers last summer, more than double than the 12.1 million that watched the 2015 edition in Canada. The most watched match was the semi-final involving England and the USA, which saw 11.7 million tune in on TV and 1.7 million through iPlayer.