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Women’s Euros inspires rise in audience for women’s sport beyond football

By Community | November 8, 2022

The latest visibility report from the Women’s Sport Trust, with data from Futures Sport and Entertainment, has revealed the positive impact the Women’s Euros has had on growing women’s sport* consumption in the UK, not just for football, and in attracting a young, female audience.

27% of the 15.8 million new viewers to women’s sport in 2022 (based on not watching any other women’s sport in 2022) from the Women’s Euros, have gone onto watch more women’s sport in August and September, with 46% of those going onto watch women’s cricket and a further 46% watching more women’s football.

Excluding major international women’s football tournaments, a record 27.4m have watched women’s sport in the UK on TV between January-September, up from 26.6 million in 2019. Viewers have also watched for 271 minutes so far in comparison to 196 minutes in 2021.

This data doesn’t include the record-breaking audience for Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall. In October, the fight received Sky’s biggest-ever audience for a live broadcast of women’s sport, with over two million tuning in to make it the most watched women’s professional boxing event in history, with 38% of viewers female.

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The Women’s Super League has also seen a significant boost in viewership this season, with audiences more than 1.5 that of viewership in the 2021/22 season.

·       Using data from the start of the season until 23rd October, Sky has seen average audiences for the WSL increase from 111k in 2021/22 to 220k in 2022/23, while BBC One and Two have seen average audiences increase from 393k in 2021/22 to 522k in 2022/23.

·       Audiences are also watching the WSL for longer, with Sky audiences watching for an average of 45 minutes per viewer in 2022/23, in comparison to 38 minutes in 2021/22, while BBC Sport viewers are watching for 42 minutes per viewer in 2022/23, which is also slightly up on the average of 39 minutes in 2021/22.

·       There has also been a significant rise in the number of young female Sky viewers who have watched the WSL in 2022/23 but didn’t consume WSL games last season on Sky. 42% of these new viewers are female, compared to an average of 39% of overall audiences being female on Sky for the 2022/23 season so far, while 40% of new viewers are under 35 this season, compared to the 27% season average in 2021/22.

·       Arsenal v Spurs became the most watched WSL match on linear TV ever. The game aired on BBC One and received an average audience of 762k, 3% higher than the previous high for the Manchester derby last season (738k).

·       Liverpool v Chelsea, airing on SS Football, Main Event, Premier League and Sky Showcase was the most watched pay-TV audience for the WSL ever, surpassing the previous high for Man City v Spurs last season. 

Chief Executive and Co-Founder of the Women’s Sport Trust Tammy Parlour said: “To see that major events like the Women’s Euros are not only inspiring new fans, many of whom are young and female, to watch more football, but also consume other women’s sport, is hugely exciting and provides an interesting opportunity for brands and broadcasters to invest in women’s sport and engage with these commercially valuable audiences.”

Advantage All Global Forum Women's Sport