Women’s Sport Trust reveals record-breaking 2023 viewership figures
The Women’s Sport Trust (WST) has revealed statistics showcasing an unprecedented surge in viewership of women’s sports across the UK in 2023.
According to the latest research findings, a record-breaking 46.7 million individuals tuned in to watch women’s sports on linear TV.
The report confirms that 46.7 million people watched more than a minute of women’s sports in 2023, nearly one million more viewers than in the previous high recorded in 2019. The average viewing time spent on women’s sports across free-to-air (FTA) and pay-TV platforms witnessed a remarkable 16 percent year-over-year increase, totalling 10 hours and seven minutes per person.
Digital platforms also experienced substantial growth, with 25.7 million streams of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on BBC iPlayer and 15.6 million on ITVX. Notably, BBC iPlayer saw a massive 75 percent increase compared to the 2019 Women’s World Cup, indicating a significant shift towards online streaming platforms for sports content consumption.
The impact of women’s sports on social media platforms has been immense, with TikTok driving significant engagement. The Women’s Super League (WSL) witnessed a 268 percent year-over-year increase in video views, while the Women’s Six Nations experienced an astounding 586 percent surge in video views on TikTok.
Attendances at women’s sports events also saw an increase, with 2.6 million individuals attending such events in 2023 compared to 2.1 million in the previous year. Ticket purchasers for women’s sports events tend to be younger and more females, compared to traditional TV viewership demographics, indicating a shift in audience demographics.
Despite the growth in viewership and engagement with women’s sports, the report also highlights a decline in domestic sport consumption on TV in the UK. Soccer continues to dominate, accounting for 74 pecent of women’s sports viewing hours, followed by cricket (15%), rugby union (5%) and golf (3%).
“This report points to unprecedented streaming numbers across digital alongside record video consumption for leading women’s sports competitions on social media channels,” said Tammy Parlour, CEO and co-founder of the Women’s Sport Trust.
“The industry needs to capitalise on these opportunities to drive further awareness and engagement, so we can continue to broaden the audience for women’s sports and reach the fans where they are.”
Image credit: Ailura