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Report Reveals Record High Viewership For Women’s Sport

English Women's Footba

Report Reveals Record High Viewership For Women’s Sport

New research published from the Women’s Sport Trust (WST) has found the average viewing time of women’s sport in the UK has increased by 131% in 2022.

It was also a record year for domestic women’s sport, with 37.6 million tuning in, beating  the 32.9 million in 2021, with the WSL being the main driver with 16 million unique viewers during the 2022 calendar year.

The report also showed that the average viewer watched 8 hours 44 minutes of women’s sport in 2022, compared to 3 hours 47 minutes in 2021.

Despite the progress that has been made in visibility, women’s sport still accounts for less than a seventh of sports coverage hours on key UK TV channels, while the proportion of coverage devoted to women’s sport by TV sports news and the print media was even lower in 2022.

Commenting on the visibility of women’s sport, WST co-founder and CEO,Tammy Parlour, said while the previous focus was on ensuring that women’s sport is visible in broadcast, now they must ensure the commercial sustainability of women’s sport.

“To see time spent with women’s sport increasing by 131% in 2022, compared to 7.6 million in 2021, is testament to our belief that if you make women’s sport visible, then viewership will follow,” Parlour said.

The fact that women’s sport accounts for 15% of total sports viewing hours on key channels, compared to 10% in 2021, despite only being 13% of coverage hours, illustrates this demand.

“What is also interesting is that there is a unique audience coming for women’s sport, with 1.8 million viewers watching the Women’s Euros, but not seeing any FIFA Men’s World Cup action in Qatar,” she said.

Additionally, there was also an exclusive audience coming to women’s:

  • 8.4 million watched live WSL football in 2022, but did not see any live Premier League football, with 6.8 million watching both, compared to the 5.1 million only watching the WSL in 2021.
  • 1.8 million watched the Women’s Euros but didn’t watch the men’s FIFA World Cup.
  • 1.5 million only watched the Women’s Hundred, while 4.8 million consumed both the men’s and women’s formats.
  • 1.3 million only watched women’s matches at the Rugby League World Cup, but didn’t see any men’s matches.

Finally, audiences that had been attracted to women’s sport in 2021 also came back for more, with 89% of women’s sport viewers from free-to-air coverage in 2021 continuing to tune in to women’s sport in 2022.

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