The rarest species in sports television is a woman offering her opinion. Your cable system is littered with bloviating Baylesses belting out hot takes, but it doesn’t take Inspector Javert to recognize that the women in the medium are essentially restricted to anchoring or sideline reporting. Executives at sports networks talk a nice game about on-air equality but only ESPN has made an attempt to give its front-facing women significant (key word) airtime when it comes to opinion-based television. While ex-coaches and players blather daily on multiple sports networks, the women at those networks are mostly used in ornamental roles. Fox Sports 1’s Katie Nolan hammered this point home here all too well.
So I give CBS Sports executives credit for executing a concept that’s long overdue. On Tuesday, the network will launch We Need To Talk, a nationally-televised, all-female, hour-long, once-a-week sports show, airing at 10 p.m. Eastern on CBS Sports Network. The show’s title is a mess but the quality of on-air staffers and behind-the-scenes people is first rate. If given time to develop — and that should happen with the CBS Sports Network not yet rated for viewership — We Need To Talk has the potential to be outstanding.
“I’m serious about this — I want this show to succeed for all these little girls across the country who sit and watch baseball games with their Dads and Moms and want to get into this business and have been — and I choose these words carefully — relegated to three minutes during a football game,” said Emilie Deutsch, one of the show’s coordinating producers along with Suzanne Smith.
“It’s time. It’s time for women to have a real platform. It’s time for women to have more of an opportunity than to be relegated to three minutes during a three-hour game. When you are a little girl looking for role models in television, this show will now hopefully provide that.”
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