Women's Sports: Nicky Morgan, Culture Secretary, calls for equal coverage of women's sport

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Culture Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has called for women's sport to have equal coverage on free-to-air television.

The secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport urged broadcasters to make women's sports event such as the Football World Cup listed events. In doing so women's sport would be placed on a level playing field with the equivalent men's events and guaranteed exposure to much larger audiences. 

Adding events such as the Champions League final, Rugby World Cup final, and all football World Cup matches to the "crown jewels" list would ensure "future generations of female sporting talent can be inspired by who they see on their screens".

“Where a men’s event is listed, the women’s equivalent would be too. This would be an important step in giving female sporting talent the coverage they deserve and putting men’s and women’s sport on an equal footing at last,” said Morgan in her first major speech since taking over the position as Culture Secretary.

The support of Morgan adds to the momentum created over the summer with the success of events such as the FIFA Women's Football World Cup and Netball World Cup. It follows Sports Minister, Nigel Adams, backing the R&A Women in Golf Charter to encourage more women to take part in golf.

She said: “A record-breaking 28.1 million people tuned into the Women’s World Cup. I want to build on this momentum and make sure future generations of female sporting talent can be inspired by who they see on their screens.

If a sports event is added to the list of so-called crown jewel sports events, the rights for these events must be offered to free-to-air channels and received by at least 95% of the population. The list currently includes Wimbledon, Rugby World Cup finals and the Olympics among others.

Morgan has also identified the Paralympics as another event to be added to the list.

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