Record quarter for women’s sport in the UK

Women’s sport had a record quarter for UK TV viewing at the beginning of 2021, a new study has revealed. 

According to research from the Women’s Sport Trust (WST), Q1 2022 was the most-watched Q1 for women’s sport on record in the UK. 

The report found that 15.1 million Brits watched 3 minutes or more of women’s sport coverage in Q1, in comparison to 5.06m in 2021 and a previous peak of 10.2 million in 2019. In total, over 17.9m people watched women’s sport in Q1 vs. 6.7m at this stage of 2021.

The most watched property was the Barclays WSL, which is broadcast by the BBC and Sky Sports. The WSL made up 58% of viewing time, followed by Women’s Six Nations (25%), Arnold Clark Cup (24%) and ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup (13%).

Some 57% of viewers who have watched any women’s sport in 2022 so far also watched coverage in 2021, with 33% of viewers having tuned in on three occasions or more so far in 2022.

Tammy Parlour, CEO of the Women’s Sport Trust, said: “These encouraging figures support our longstanding view that if women’s sport is made visible, then audiences will watch and validates the commitment that UK broadcasters are making to unprecedented visibility of women’s sport.”

“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.”

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