NEW DELHI: A total of 74.9 million watched the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2020 which garnered 5.3 billion viewing minutes on television, according to data from Broadcasting Audience Research Council (BARC).
Of the 5.3 billion viewing minutes, female audience made up for 39% of viewership, highlighting the steady growth of female viewership in sports properties over the past few years.
BARC said the tournament, which was played between 21 February and 8 March in Australia, witnessed cumulative female viewership reach of 32.2 million while male viewership reach stood at 42.6 million.
The finale, where Australia beat India by 85 runs, also witnessed high interest. The final match reached out to 40.97 million unique viewers.
The finale had 1.88 billion viewing minutes of which 0.8 billion minutes came from female viewers while 1.1 billion minutes came from male viewers.
Star India, the official broadcaster of ICC events in the country, leveraged the power of local launguages to broaden the viewership bracket. The India matches at the tournament were aired in five languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu.
Star India said that it has also witnessed impressive digital viewership of the tournament that was live-streamed on its video streaming platform Hotstar. According to the streaming platform, the India-Australia final match recorded a peak concurrency (simultaneous views) of 3.2 million and clocked in 12.8 million in cumulative viewership.
In a statement, ICC said there has been an increase of 213% in viewing minutes in India with just the opening game of Australia against India witnessing a reach of 20 million and an average audience of 3.55 million which is 39% higher than the most-watched match at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2018 edition.
"These are heartening figures for Eve’s cricket. While viewership is showing encouraging growth and deeper stickiness, advertisers are still shy of the opportunity. Somehow the belief amongst brand managers still is that women’s cricket is still work-in-progress, a kind of wait and watch. Which is somewhat unfortunate. Eve’s cricket should be a preferred destination for many more mainstreamed brands. For that the broadcaster needs to push more pro-actively both to educate and to convert," said said Sandeep Goyal, chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai- based marketing and communication agency.
Mayank Bhatnagar, executive vice president, Carat, a Dentsu Aegis Network owned media agency said that ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup viewership is consistently increasing year-on-year and this year’s statistics are outstanding.
"I'm sure this will boost the confidence of media planners to evaluate and invest in these sporting tournaments to reach out to women audience. Female viewership is evolving. However, planners and advertisers still use sports to target male audiences. These statistics clearly show that we need to evaluate platforms/properties holistically without any biases," he added.