Italian Women's Television Coverage and Audience During the 2004 Athens Olympic Games
Authors: Capranica, Laura; Tessitore, Antonio; D'Artibale, Emanuele; Cortis, Cristina; Casella, Rita; Camilleri, Enrica; Pesce, Caterina
Source: Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 1 March 2008, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 101-115(15)
Abstract:This study aimed at determining the amount of Italian television coverage dedicated to men's and women's sport and the number of male and female viewers during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. AUDITEL-AGB Nielsen Media Research Italia provided the TV airtime data for the sport events broadcast, which were classified into three categories: men-only, women-only, and mixed-gender. The viewer sample was divided by age and gender and included three audience parameters: mean audience, share, and appreciation index. The last item is calculated from the program duration, audience permanence, and the share related to programs broadcast by other Italian channels. In particular, the appreciation index was used to investigate the relationship between (a) the viewer's and sport participants' gender and (b) the effect of Italian participation and expectations for sport achievement. The data showed that Italian male athletes outnumbered their female counterparts. Women's sport was allotted significantly less airtime than men's sport, but this imbalance was not proportional to the gender difference in the overall athletes' participation in the Games. Although the female audience represented 45% of the total, a significantly higher male mean audience and share were found. On the other hand, the appreciation of men's and women's sport events was balanced after equating for differences in media coverage. Moreover, sport achievement might have a positive effect on the trend toward equality of gender coverage, indicating that a global multisport event such as the Olympic Games is central to communicating a national image and identity independently of the athletes' gender.
Document Type: Research Article