A recent report of the French audiovisual regulator (“Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel”), which was published on 31 January 2014, warns about the extremely unequal representation of female and male sport in the audiovisual media. In fact, only 10% of sport broadcasts (predominantly broadcast on pay TV channels) show representations of female sport. However, female sport in France currently enjoys a growth spurt - 51% of practitioners over 15 years are women according to the latest survey of physical and sporting activities in France conducted in 2010 by the mission of Education, Observation and Statistics of the Ministry of sports. This growth is inaccurately reflected by the audiovisual media.
The issue is of importance as a more equal representation could certainly result in significant financial flow and a better visibility for the advertisers, according to the report. In the French regulator's view, imposing a quantitative obligation on broadcasters is not necessarily the best way to improve the situation. The issue of feminization of sport is complex to grasp and requires to be taken into account by further sectors than just the media industry.
Based on this premise, the CSA makes five recommendations (detailed in the report below) addressed to radio and TV broadcasters whose objectives are to improve the exposure of women's sport in audiovisual media.
As a follow-up, a monitoring committee will be set up within the "sport" task force of the authority. It will bring together radio and TV broadcasters, representatives of sports federations and leagues and of the Ministry of Sports and will be responsible for ensuring the proper implementation of these recommendations and actions.