Australian Open Male v. Female Coverage


Weekend coverage of the 2012 Australian Open for both men’s and women’s third round matches showed a lot of consistency in all phases of the media. Observing a men’s match and women’s match in tennis, especially in the early rounds, the announcers’ excitement is limited. The men’s match was Novak Djokovic against Nicolas Mahut and the women’s match was Maria Sharapova against Angelique Kerber.

Both of these matches were straight set wins and highly one-sided in favor of Djokovic and Sharapova. One thing that stood out in both the men’s and women’s matches was the need to keep the audience updated on all the current matches taking place.  Every 15 minutes or so,  it switched over to the other matches taking place and gave the audience a live look-in. Another factor of consistency was how the camera angles were used when the players were serving. In all tennis matches on television the forward shot of the camera was used so viewers can see the entire match.

The fundamental difference between the two matches is the announcers used for the matches. In the men’s match there were two male announcers and the terminology used was much more masculine compared with the women’s match, which had one male announcer and one female. One example to pull from the matches was a scenario that happened in each of the matches. Djokovic received a lob shot from his opponent and he finished the point with an overhead smash. This happened in the Sharapova match, also, but the terminology used by the announcers’ was different. In the men’s match the announcer referred to it as a “strong or powerful” point by Djokovic. In the women’s match, the announcer said, such a “pretty” point by Sharapova.

In comparing tennis matches between men and women, you can pick out many times where the choice of words in a women’s match will be more feminine compared to the words in men’s matches. Is it that big of a deal? No. But, treating a great play by either a male or female should be looked at and viewed as the same.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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