What is among the most pandering shows to women on TV? The View. What is one of the worst ways you can bring more female voices to sports commentary? Make a sports version of The View. That is exactly what CBS is doing.
CBS announced on Friday, via The Big Lead, that it will launch a weekly, all-female sports talk show. The network has reportedly lined up some impressive names: Lesley Visser, Dana Jacobson, Amy Trask, Tracy Wolfson, and Jenny Dell. The show also will reportedly be produced and directed exclusively by women.
"We're really excited and proud to be launching the first ever all female sports talk show," David Berson, the President of CBS Sports told The Big Lead. "We have been discussing and developing the show for well over a year. Internally and externally, there's been universal enthusiasm and across-the-board support."
CBS would not reveal the show's format, but sources say it will be something akin to The View meets Pardon the Interruption. It's difficult to find a comparison for something this groundbreaking, but Berson did say it was going to be "a sports talk show featuring women; it's not intended to be a women's sports issue show."
Pumping up its diversity numbers without touching the other 167 hours of programming each week is brutally efficient. Now CBS can brag about all the women featured on its broadcasts without including them in the broader discussion—you know, the broader discussion that women want to be a part of. Whatever they had in mind, here's what this actually sounds like:
Put all the women over there where they can talk among themselves. Now, excuse us while the big boys on the big broadcasts talk all the way over here. Oh, no, don't come over here, ladies. This is the big-boy table.
The article also says nothing about the time slot this show will be given. Will it air when people will watch it? Or will it be on in the middle of a weekday afternoon, like The View, when no working person—man or woman—will see it? The fact that it's going to air on the little-watched CBS Sports Network is a good early clue. Add to that when CBS decided to confirm the news—Friday afternoon, when people were least likely to hear about it.
They'll call it progress, but it's about as progressive as "shrink it and pink it" clothing and blind support of a cancer fund that actually doesn't do much cancer research. It's a stinky bone thrown at women by men who assume we're dumb enough to get excited about it. CBS can do better.