The time the average viewer spent watching women’s sport in 2022 is more than double the figure in 2021, according to new research from the Women’s Sport Trust (WST).
The WST revealed that the average viewer watched eight hours and 44 minutes of women’s sports in 2022, compared to three hours and 47 minutes in 2021.
Research also showed that some people were watching women’s sport and not men’s sport in 2022. For example, 8.4 million watched Women’s Super League matches but not the Premier League.
Additionally, 1.8 million watched the Women’s Euro but not the Men’s World Cup, 1.5 million watched only the Women’s Hundred and 1.3 million watched only the Women’s Cup matches. world of rugby league.
The WST found 21.2 million viewers who watched two or more hours of women’s sports. That’s more than the equivalent figure for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! (19.1m), Strictly Come Dancing (18.9m) and the Great British Bake Off (11.9m).
All of this growth has come despite women’s sport accounting for just 13% of sports coverage hours on what the WST has defined as ‘key sports channels’, which included BBC One, BBC Two, Sky Sports Main Events, Channel 4 and ITV.
National women’s sport was watched by 37.6 million people in 2022 and 32.9 million in 2021, with the increase attributed to WSL football, watched by 16 million people in 2022.
But the number of unique viewers watching three or more minutes of women’s sport on TV fell from 2019 – 40.1 million from 41.7 million – and this was attributed to an increase in the Women’s World Cup. FIFA 2019.
Euro 2022 offered its own boost as 53% of those watching the tournament who were new to women’s sport went on to watch more after England won the final.
WST chief executive Tammy Parlor said the figures “reflect our belief that if you make women’s sport visible, viewership will follow”.
Parlor called on the media to “continue to build visibility” through TV and other platforms to “help build connections and habits with women’s sport”.