Athletics/Sports

Women's Soccer Kicks Off ESPN's 'W' Coverage

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ESPN is broadcasting today's Women's World Cup match between the U.S. and France and using the tournament to promote espnW, a Web site that fills out the coverage of women's sports often missing from the headlines of ESPN.com.

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Expanded Site

Visitors to the site will find it considerably expanded from December 2010, when it first appeared in a blog format.

Now there are sections for news, opinion, athlete profiles and training. The site lists 16 contributors and members of the advisory board include Julie Foudy, former player on the U.S. women's soccer team, Jessica Mendoza, player on the women's national softball team from 2004-2010, and Lisa Leslie, retired WNBA star.

However, the idea of ESPN developing a specialized women's sports site doesn't thrill everyone.

"Women already have an ESPN. It's called ESPN. The idea that women need a 'girlier' version of sport programming is insulting," sports blogger Julie DiCaro wrote on her blog, A League of Her Own, in October 2010.

Aside from the idea that women's sports should be covered side-by-side with men's, there is also the worry that a separate site would drain coverage of women's sports from the more well-known ESPN site.

One sign of women's interest in following sports is the strong proportion of women who follow men's sports. Women, for instance, are close to half of the fan base for men's football and baseball.

Meanwhile, sports media dedicated to women's sports is scarce.

One of the only specialized sources for women's sports is Womensportreport.com, an online magazine based in Honiton, Devon. The British site was created over five years ago. While the site offers much--if not more--than espnW, it doesn't have the same mass-market reach as ESPN.

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Krystie Lee Yandoli is a Women's eNews editorial intern.

For more information:

espnW:
http://espn.go.com/espnw/

Women Sport Report:
http://www.womensportreport.com/

A League of Her Own:
http://www.aleagueofherown.com/

Women Talk Sports:
http://www.womentalksports.com/

When Will Women Become Equal On Boards?:
http://blogs.forbes.com/csr/2011/06/27/when-will-women-become-equal-on-boards/#more-3197

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