Report shows 6.2 million watched women’s football compared to men’s in 2021

A new report has revealed that the national women’s sport attracted a record UK audience of nearly 33million in 2021.

Despite the current trend of declining television viewing hours, women’s sport has seen unprecedented growth on free and pay-TV channels, according to research by Future athletes in association with the Women’s Sports Trust.

The Hundred Cricket Tournament and the FA Women’s Super League top the list of most-watched competitions, attracting 11 million viewers combined.

Researchers say Hundreds garnered the most interest from people –– achieving 41 percent of total hours tuned.

Meanwhile, 39% of viewing hours were for the WSL, although the season is still only halfway through.

Interestingly, the report claims that 25% of those who watched women’s cricket did not watch any men’s cricket in 2021, highlighting that the tournament was successful in attracting new fans to the sport.

Similarly, 6.2 million people watched WSL matches live on TV without watching the Premier League, while 1.5 million watched the W Series motorsport championship without watching Formula 1.

Despite this impressive increase in viewership figures, one thing that women’s sport still needs to improve on is viewership retention.

The report notes that only 45% of people have watched the Hundred more than once, while 35% have done so for the WSL.

Although the WSL figure is up from 31% the previous year, the Premier League has a viewer retention rate of 87%.

Apart from team sports, the research also revealed that interest in individual athletes has skyrocketed, especially in rising tennis star Emma Raducanu.

The British teenager won the US Open last September, which led to more than eight million Google searches in the UK for his name.

Speaking about the rise of women’s sport over the past 12 months, Tammy Parlor, CEO and Co-Founder of Women’s Sports Trustsaid: “The importance of free-to-air broadcasting, alongside pay-TV coverage, in attracting new audiences to women’s sport cannot be underestimated.

“Domestic competitions such as The Hundred and the Women’s Super League are the perfect gateway to seeing more women’s sport and I can’t wait to see the impact other major international events this year will have on future figures. of hearing.

“We know how important these major events are for increasing viewership, but we want this growth to be sustainable, creating more habit among the public, to ensure that women’s sport continues to be visible, viable and unstoppable.”

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