March Madness seen as unjust, facts say otherwise

Entertainment industry desires athletes with showmanship


Adin Zweigbaum

As the first few rounds of March Madness come to a close, it becomes obvious that most brackets follow basketball for National Collegiate Athletic Association Men (NCAAM), rather than basketball for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Women (NCAAW). On the surface this doesn’t seem just; many viewers might see it as wrong for men to have more attention than women, but in actuality, it’s all because of consumer demands.   

Many people might be upset about this, but it only has to do with entertainment. The reason female college sports get less attention is strictly because more fans want to watch male sports.

As a fan of college sports, I can say watching a male game versus watching a female game feels like going to two completely different sports. NCAAM is far more entertaining to watch; it has nothing to with equal opportunity. According to ESPN statistics, male basketball players are scoring more, and overall playing on a higher level than women. This is what fans want to see because more aggressive gameplay leads to a more enjoyable game.

There’s no denying that these female basketball players are top class athletes, but the fact of the matter is the male players are just more entertaining. They are more fun to watch because they play closer to the hoop and are more aggressive — this is what gets fans to watch them over female games.

When it comes to the statistics, male players are consistently scoring higher than female players. On average, the top five male scorers in the NCAA score greater than the top five female scorers.

These statistics directly correlate to the pros as well with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Professional male basketball players on average, score more, get more rebounds, have more assists, get more steals, get more blocks and have higher field goal percentages than professional female players.

When it comes to fans, it is obvious that the NBA has far more than the WNBA. Last year the NBA brought in $7.4 billion, while the WNBA only brought in $51.5 million. This is due to the entertainment aspect of the sport. Viewers crave the best the world has to offer, and the NBA is giving that to them, not the WNBA.

It’s all demand and supply. If the statistics were the other way around, the WNBA would have more viewers and more attention. However, current male athletes are outperforming, and more importantly out-entertaining them.

As it stands now, the problem doesn’t come from inequality, but instead, it comes from the ability to entertain and to perform. The entirety of the business of sports is all based on showmanship. Just like any other form of entertainment, the better the entertainer the better the show.