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Sports Illustrated Gives Women's Sports Short Shrift

Sunday, December 2, 2007 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 10:14 PM, under , , , , , , ,

Athens, GA (Dec 2, 2007) - When women's college basketball games are covered on live television, one of the pieces of information needed is updates of the scores of other games. These scores are built into graphics aired during the broadcasts. This can quite easily be done for men's college basketball games using either ESPN's or Sports Illustrated's web sites. I personally prefer to use Sports Illustrated's web site because they integrate Web 2.0 technologies to create a custom scoreboard of the games I am interested in. ESPN does not offer this.

Sports Illustrated Configurable Scoreboard
Sports Illustrated allows users to configure personalized Men's College Basketball Scoreboards.

When it comes to women's college basketball, Sports Illustrated's web site seems to fall into the dark ages. You have no customization options and no ability to drill down by conference or Top-25. You get a list you have to scroll up and down to get the scores you need.

Sports Illustrated Women's Basketball Scoreboard
Sports Illustrated only gives users a list of Women's College Basketball scores.

ESPN, on the other hand, offers a box score type approach that can be drilled down by conference or conference. This is a much better approach from a usability standpoint.

ESPN's Womens College Basketball Scoreboard
ESPN offers a box-score style scoreboard for Women's College Basketball.

The significant issue here is the debate over equity in sports for men and women. From these examples, ESPN is walking the walk in their coverage (or at least attempting to), while Sports Illustrated is not. It is not as if it would be difficult to give men's and women's scores equal treatment. IT is, however, enough to give this writer pause to think the next time Sports Illustrated writes with a straight face about the Title IX and importance of gender equity in sports.

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