‘Media is a male eco-system,’ says LET boss

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The Ladies European Tour’s CEO Mark Lichtenhein believes there is a male centric attitude amongst media outlets.

His comments come following a number of female players asking for better media coverage of the women’s game.

“Traditionally, the media has been very male centric. It is a male eco system,” Lichtenhein told bunkered.co.uk.

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“Paid TV has been built around men’s sport and the market place is very male centric - that’s how paid TV has established itself. It’s not built upon the back of women’s sport.

“You take Georgia Hall winning the Women’s British Open last year for example. There were a lot of media covering that event but I don’t think any national newspaper had Georgia on the front page. It would have been completely different in the men’s game if any Englishman had won the Open. Irrespective of how well known he was, he would definitely be on the front page.”

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Despite the focus on male sport, Lichtenhein believes there is cause for optimism, pointing towards the extensive coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the upcoming Solheim Cup, which he said will attract eyes.

According to him, the landscape is shifting.

“It is changing, but it’s not going to happen overnight. I think it’s all going in the right direction. It is just a question of how quickly that can happen.”

Lichtenhein also revealed that the LET has some big plans on the horizon to boost coverage and the sustainability of women’s golf in Europe.

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“In the June and July months, we should be playing in Scandinavia and Central Europe but we are currently not doing that. We have good projects in the pipeline on those fronts in the coming years.

“We need to have our core market supporting women’s golf. It does already in France and Spain where we have terrific support from the federations but that’s not reflected in the same way in central Europe. Hopefully that will change in the coming years.”

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With initial plans to add a few more events brewing, the LET boss said he wants ten more events on the tour by 2024.

“I think if we can get to 30 events in the next four or five years, then that is a sustainable future for the LET. That then means there is a viable alternative to players who want to earn a living playing golf but can’t or don’t want to go to America.”

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Lichtenhein added that, despite the draw of the LPGA, it’s crucial for the LET to maintain its pull.

“I don’t see why there has to be just one main tour because I think that would be detrimental to the growth of golf in Europe. Europe needs to have a sustainable future in golf in order to have the best Europeans to be able to compete with the best players in the world.”

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