The internet got pretty fired up on Wednesday afternoon after news that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) will have a new partnership featuring two women (Lena Sutherland and Jules Mancuso) hosting a show dubbed “While the Men Watch” that aims to connect with wives and girlfriends of men who watch hockey during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Upon checking out the website While the Men Watch, it’s clearly geared to women who just don’t have a clue about sports. I get that there is an audience for that. But should it be featured as a major part of a network's playoff coverage?
While trying to play devil's advocate, I watched their promo video. Big mistake. It was then I understood why so many women were infuriated over this new CBC partnership.
“Ok like, why do the coaches have to wear a suit and tie? I mean, it's like, a hockey game. Why can’t they wear a tracksuit?”
This kind of valley girl sports commentary is given a national audience over a female who represents 40% of the NHL fan base and has probably spent their whole life going the extra mile to prove their fandom to others? Pathetic.
“Why do they [NHL coaches] have to wear a suit and tie? You’re at a hockey game. Why can’t you sport some kind of track suit or sports outfit? And aren’t they uncomfortable? They have to like, stand, the whole time.”
*flips nearest table*
How did this type of show get a national audience? While it’s disheartening to think that two women who both come from Canada could treat something like the Stanley Cup as trivial as they have, it's absolutely maddening that CBC would endorse such a thing on their own website.
It’s a puzzling move for CBC in that 4 out of 10 hockey fans are women and about 1/3 of ESPN's overall viewership regardless of sport is female. Did CBC just not do the research prior to making this move or do they know something that we don’t?
It shouldn't come as a surprise that women want to watch sports the exact same as everyone else. CBC could have hired two qualified females to do actual play-by-play and perhaps throw in some honest analysis or a “did you know” in the live game conversation. That’s appealing to the already-present female fan base without the need to make them feel like an idiot. Instead, CBC has taken us back to the dark ages of sports fandom.
Sure I understand the appeal of the stereotypical girl who just doesn’t have a clue when it comes to sports, but CBC should do better than to perpetuate those lazy stereotypes. They missed out on a large portion of the fanbase for their country's number one sport by partnering with these ladies instead of real fans of the game.
“Matter of fact I think we are the ONLY sports show out there for women”
No ma’am you are not the face of female sports fans. These ladies are.