Record Breaking Viewership for Women’s Sport

2022 Women’s Super League Champions Chelsea. Photo: ChelseaFCW (Twitter)

Research in the UK has shown that more fans are tuning in to watch women’s sport with a record-breaking 15.1 million views in the first quarter of 2022.

The figure is a significant increase on the previous milestone of 10.2 million in 2019 and three times the 5.06 million that were watching this time last year at a time when the impact of Covid-19 was still being felt.

The women’s sport charity says its figures show that increased visibility of female properties is helping attract more viewers. English soccer’s top-flight Women’s Super League (WSL) is in the first season of a major new television deal with pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports and the BBC.

The WSL was the most-watched competition, making up 58 per cent of the viewership, while all matches in the women’s Six Nations rugby union championship are available for the first time.

Both competitions have benefited from favourable scheduling, allowing them to attract audiences that would otherwise be watching other events. The WSL was the most watched property, with 58 per cent of women’s sports viewers tuning in, ahead of the women’s Six Nations (25 per cent), the Arnold Clark Cup international soccer tournament (24 per cent) and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup (13 per cent).

According to the WST, viewers are watching for longer and are more likely to stick around. The average person watched 122 minutes of women’s sport in Q1 2022 compared to 68 minutes in 2021, while 33 per cent have watched on at least three occasions, an increase from 17 per cent last year.

Women’s Sport Trust CEO Tammy Parlour says the latest figures “validate the commitment that UK broadcasters are making to unprecedented visibility of women’s sport.”

“These encouraging figures support our long-standing view that if women’s sport is made visible, then audiences will watch,” said Parlour.

“The growing overall numbers for women’s sport, aligned to increasing habit, is particularly exciting for creating a commercially sustainable offering, particularly ahead of a huge year for women’s sport with the likes of the Women’s Euros, a Rugby World Cup for women, and the Women’s Rugby League World Cup still to come.”

“There has never been a better time for brands to consider investing in women’s sport for the first time,” she concluded.


Photo 1 Caption: 2022 Women’s Super League Champions Chelsea. Photo: ChelseaFCW (Twitter)

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