I read the letter from Ms. Wolcott (“Overshadowed GU women,” Feb. 6th) with interest re: her concern as to why the Gonzaga women’s basketball team receives so little TV coverage as compared to the men. This, despite the fact they are now rated number 11, the highest ranking in the program’s history.
As my wife and I are longtime season ticket holders of the women’s program, I would agree they deserve far more coverage. The SWX channel does broadcast a few home games, but this is about all the TV coverage the women get.
Unfortunately, I believe it is a matter of revenue. With few exceptions — e.g., UCONN, Tennessee, Baylor, and now Oregon and Gonzaga — most women’s programs draw poorly. Gonzaga averages 5,600 a game, with four sellouts of 6,000 so far this season, but the rest of the teams in the WCC are lucky to draw 400-500, if that. Even at BYU, a so-called basketball school, the women rarely draw more than 1,500-2,000.
Unfortunately, women’s basketball does not draw the large TV audience as do the men’s games. This may be why TV stations can’t justify broadcasting women’s games: the revenue isn’t there. I agree the Gonzaga women’s basketball team deserves far more TV coverage than they are presently receiving, but the reality is until college women’s basketball, in general, draws bigger crowds, that probably will not happen.
Jess Steven Hughes