TV audiences for women's sport doubled from 2021 to 2022 - Women's Sport Trust

Chloe Kelly
Chloe Kelly scored the winner as England beat Germany to win Euro 2022 in July

TV audiences for women's sports have doubled from 2021 to 2022, new research by the Women's Sport Trust has found.

Its report found that 36.1m people watched women's sport on TV between January-July this year, compared to 17.5m in the equivalent period in 2021.

Football was responsible 72% of the women's sport audiences between the specified period.

England's Euro 2022 success was watched by a peak BBC One television audience of 17.4m.

However, the 2022 TV audience figures are down on those in 2019, when 40.4m watched at least three minutes of women's sport on TV between January-July.

Then, the average viewing time per person was 525 minutes - 122 minutes more than in the same period this year.

"The success of the Women's Euros shows that if broadcasters are prepared to showcase women's sport properly, both in terms of volume of coverage and prime time slots, audiences will respond in huge numbers and keep coming back for more," said Tammy Parlour, chief executive and co-founder of the Women's Sport Trust.

"We also recognise that while changing consumption habits may have led to a decline in TV numbers compared to 2019, the fall shows that there is still much work to be done around growing women's sport."

The study also found that between January-July 2022:

  • 16% of coverage hours on BBC One, BBC Two, Channel 4, ITV and Sky Sports main event were dedicated to women's sport
  • 57% of TV viewers watched women's sport on three or more occasions - up from 26% in 2021 but down on 59% in 2019
  • 54% of Women's Euros viewers had watched women's sport in 2022 prior to the tournament, compared to 41% in 2019 before the Women's World Cup
  • 16% of those that watched the Women's Euros had not watched any sport in 2022 prior to the tournament

Parlour added: "Women's sport needs to translate this increased interest and attention into generating enhanced commercial revenue streams, such as merchandise, ticketing and media rights, and unlock innovative ways to monetise the passionate women's sports community, many of whom were new to sport during the Women's Euros.

"In addition, different parts of the industry, be they a brand, broadcaster or league/federation, can play an important role in building connections between fans and female athletes and teams that will drive greater consumption in the future."