Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa posted on Twitter that the Kenyan Premier League had secured a new broadcast sponsor.
“Get your StarTimes decoder and enjoy watching the new FKFPL this season,” Mwendwa wrote. “One match per weekend will be on a free-to-air channel of their choice!”
Exciting as it may sound, the deal leaves out one major group: the Kenyan Women’s Premier League.
A lack of visibility for women
In September, the Telegraph announced that Sky Sports had secured the rights to broadcast the FA Women’s Super League. This came after the broadcaster received an offer to take all coverage of the top-tier league from BT Sport.
Leagues like the WSL and the NWSL continue to expand their reach with new broadcast deals. Meanwhile, the Kenyan Women’s Premier League continues to receive almost no coverage.
Deals made by the FKF have left women’s clubs on their own. This has led to many of the clubs having to use social media to share their matches and ongoing projects.
Because the federation puts men first, there is a need for a long-term strategy to increase coverage of the women’s league. Without the proper visibility, the women’s game loses out on sponsors, fans and money. Most female players are not even noticed because of this general lack of awareness.
One point made is that most female athletes spend more time watching men’s sports than their female counterparts. This drills down to writing, broadcasting and general interest. They say that women in the sports industry do not even support their own.
Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that the men’s league is simply valued more. As a result, it receives more support than the women’s league. Yet, this can change through the movement of increasing women’s sports coverage.
Female athletes should occupy the front and back pages of local dailies. They should appear on TV news as the first and last story items – not necessarily to meet a requirement, but because they deserve it.