Minister for Sport Mark Arbib and Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis today launched the Women in Sport Media Grants, a new initiative as part of the Australian Government’s strategy to increase the exposure and reach of women’s sport in the Australian media.

The Government will invest $1.4 million to help women’s sport attract more media attention.

Senator Arbib said while women’s sport currently received less than nine per cent of sports editorial coverage, this was an excellent time to support women’s sport in developing an attractive package for media.

“With the advent of digital television and an increase in demand for content, there is no better time to help women’s sports attract the media coverage that will open the door to long term revenues from sponsorship and broadcast rights,” Senator Arbib said.

“Australia’s sports women and teams are incredibly professional and successful. Australia’s female athletes won 56 per cent of Australia’s medals at the Beijing Olympic Games and Australian women claimed 18 world championships and world titles across a range of sports in 2010.

Ms Ellis said the new grants strengthened the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting women in sport and would build on support provided through the Sports Leadership Grants and Scholarships for Women program and the Women in Sport Leadership Register.

“This funding is a critical step in breaking the vicious cycle that has previously prevented women’s sport gaining the prominence it deserves.

“For too long a lack of media attention has meant less sponsorship and advertising dollars, which has in turn caused a devaluation of women’s sport - reaffirming the media’s lack of coverage.

The funding and support will assist with production costs, marketing and promotion of national and international level Australian women’s leagues, competitions, teams and athletes.

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