Women’s sport draws record viewership in 2023 after FIFA Women’s World Cup and Solheim Cup drama

A record 46.7 million viewers in Britain tuned in to watch women’s sport on TV in 2023, eclipsing 2019’s mark by almost a million, according to research published by the Women’s Sport Trust.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup final, which England lost 1-0 to Spain at Stadium Australia, was 2023’s most-watched women’s sport event on TV with 38.4 million viewing hours.

The figures, which reflected viewers tuning in for at least one minute of women’s sport on linear TV, showed the average viewing time increased by 16 per cent to 10 hours and seven minutes per person, compared with eight hours and 44 minutes in 2022.

“The industry needs to capitalise on these opportunities to drive further awareness and engagement, so we can continue to broaden the audience for women’s sports, and reach the fans where they are,” CEO of Women’s Sport Trust Tammy Parlour said.

“Women’s sport is attracting more younger, female fans which is great news for the industry as it shows we are starting to attract a distinctive fanbase.”

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The best of the action from day three of the Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin in Spain

On pay TV, the final day of the Solheim Cup, on Sky Sports, which was retained by Europe after a 14-14 draw against Team USA in September, was the most-watched women’s sport event with 3.1 million viewing hours.

The research also showed that the Women’s World Cup generated 25.7 million streams on digital platform BBC iPlayer, an increase of 75 per cent from the 2019 edition.

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England women’s manager Sarina Wiegman says 2023 was an incredible year for her side, while goalkeeper Mary Earps suggests that she still has a lot more to give despite winning the women’s goalkeeper award at The Best FIFA Awards 2023

While domestic sport consumption on TV declined by 5 per cent, the Women’s Sport Trust said social media platform TikTok played a key role in increasing Women’s Super League video views by 268 per cent over 2022’s figure to 150 million views.

It added that football remained the most-watched sport with 74 per cent of viewing hours, followed by cricket (15 per cent), rugby union (five per cent) and golf (three per cent).

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