During NBC's Olympic Coverage, I noticed how many packages, interviews and highlights were dedicated to the U.S. women's soccer team and how little coverage there was of the U.S. women's basketball team.
The U.S. women's soccer team's 2-1 win over Japan in the final was oddly aired on NBC Sports, not the main network. I don't know anything about network sports programming, but whoever made that decision at NBC should rethink what the desires of the viewing public are.
Candace Parker, one of the stars of U.S. women's basketball, was rarely interviewed like the rest of her teammates, and I can't think of one profile piece on her either. Hope Solo and Abby Wambach were interviewed and profiled several times throughout the Olympics. I love what Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan did throughout the competition, but if I see another highlight of one of there scores, I may skip watching another U.S. women's soccer match until Rio in 2016. The Morgan header to beat Canada has been on a continuous loop by NBC, Fox Sports Net and ESPN. I'm not diminishing what Morgan did, it was enormously thrilling, but there comes a time when something crosses overexposure.
Highlights of the U.S. women's basketball team, who won their fifth consecutive gold medal on Saturday, have been scarce or not aired at all. ESPN showed them winning the gold, but there were no interviews and there was no lively analyst of what they accomplished by anyone. When the women's soccer team won the gold medal over Japan, they had extended highlights, post-game interviews and commentary by several different people who discussed the impact of the win on women's soccer. Where was the commentary of how the women's basketball team's gold medal win would impact girl's basketball in America?
The women's basketball team has been so dominate for so many years in the Olympics, maybe the sports media has come to expect them to blow out their weaker opponents. The U.S. women's soccer team did have more thrilling finishes than the basketball team did, but it doesn't diminish how well they played for America. A stomping of another counties women's basketball team is more impressive.
I've heard some people say that the women's basketball team got less exposure than the women's soccer team because of race; I'm not sure about that, but on television there is always a bias when it comes to skin color. How many African-American's were reporting from London for NBC? Oh, that's right, one. There was Tamron Hall, but she was relegated to MSNBC, and it seemed like she had a minor role.
Everything worked out flawlessly for both teams, but the favoritism in coverage was obvious. Americans should be proud of what each team did…equally.
Note: I've been an Arsenal fan for nearly a decade. My cousin got me interested in the club at a young age.