(Reuters) – The women’s Hundred cricket tournament and Women’s Super League soccer brought in nearly 11 million new viewers as women’s sport attracted record viewing figures in Britain in 2021, the Women’s Sport Trust (WST) said on Tuesday.
The trust’s “Visibility Uncovered” study found that almost 33 million people tuned in to women’s sport last year, with cricket winning 41% of total viewing hours and soccer following closely with 39%.
“Domestic competitions such as The Hundred and the Women’s Super League are the perfect gateway to viewing more women’s sport,” Tammy Parlour, co-founder and joint CEO of the Women’s Sport Trust, said.
“We know how important these major events are in growing viewership figures but we want this growth to be sustainable, driving greater habit amongst audiences, to ensure women’s sport continues to be visible, viable and unstoppable.”
Of the 4.9 million new viewers of the Hundred, 71% went on to watch other women’s sports, with soccer and tennis among the most popular.
The Hundred was won by the Dane van Niekerk-led Oval Invincibles while Arsenal are leading the 2021-22 WSL season.
The research looks at British media exposure and consumption of women’s sport, men’s sport and mixed sport.
The study also highlighted Chelsea’s women’s Instagram interactions in 2021, which were higher than 12 of the men’s teams competing in the Premier League.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel)