New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) said the Women’s T20 World Cup 2023, which was held in South Africa, has become the most watched women’s event to date. It added that the global viewing hours for the event reached 192 million, recording a 44% increase from the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.
In the final of the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup, Australia beat South Africa by 19 runs at Cape Town, with Beth Mooney hitting a match-winning 74 and propelling the Meg Lanning-led side to complete a three-peat of titles for the second time in their history of participating in the competition.
“The event has created a long-term legacy for women’s cricket in South Africa, inspiring a new generation of girls and boys to pick up a bat and ball. The overall viewership figures for the event shattered past records with an increase of 790% of fans tuning in to enjoy the World Cup compared to the previous edition in 2020.”
“This was highlighted by the broadcast figures in the host nation, which saw a 130% increase in live coverage, including the final – involving South Africa for the first time in an ICC event, men’s or women’s, which was available on free-to-air television,” said the ICC in an official release.
The ICC also said there have been impressive numbers from India in terms of 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup viewership.
“Total live viewing hours across linear TV and digital platforms up by 57% from 2020 despite India not reaching the final, showcasing fans’ demand for women’s cricket in the country.”
“Overall, the most-watched game in India was the Women in Blue’s group stage fixture against Pakistan, which received a combined 32.8 million live viewing hours across the Star Sports network and Disney+ Hotstar.”
In terms of the United Kingdom, ICC revealed the total live viewing hours of the World Cup was 6.9 million, up 26% from 2020 and 16% from the 2018 event, making it the most watched ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to date.
“The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 broadcast and digital numbers are another example of the excellent progress that is being made to accelerate the growth of women’s cricket. As a strategic priority for the sport we are working hard to engage fans and new audiences with our ICC Women’s events.”
“For what was a game-changing event for women’s cricket in South Africa with some exciting and competitive cricket, there was also increased engagement numbers in other key markets in India and the UK which is very pleasing to see.”
“The approach to digital innovation for ICC Women’s events has also seen an uplift in fans engagement with the World Cup and our focus is to continue to provide audiences engaging content throughout the year to fulfil that growing demand,” said Geoff Allardice, ICC CEO.