Doctoral candidate Katrina Overby’s article published in the latest Journal of Sports Media finds an evolving relationship between gender and commentary in women’s college sports broadcasts.
The article, “Contrasting Male and Female Sports Announcers During Women’s NCAA Tournament Games,” reports the findings of a study of play-by-play and color commentary during 2010 women’s NCAA tournament basketball games. It measured the content of the commentary based on the gender of the broadcaster; specifically, whether the commentator talked about the female player’s athleticism, mental abilities and team importance.
Overby and co-author John McGuire, a professor at Oklahoma State University’s School of Media and Strategic Communications, write that commentary has evolved to acknowledge women’s athletic skills and mental abilities more than it did in previous studies. They found a significant relationship between the gender of the broadcaster and the comments made.