Currently, the broadcast rights for women’s cricket are clubbed together with men’s cricket but the tremendous success of the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, in terms of viewers, has led the International Cricket Council (ICC) to think of separately inviting new bidders for seperate broadcast rights for Women’s cricket, for its upcoming cycle 2023-31.
The World Cup in Australia was in the list of one of the most watched tournaments in the history of women’s cricket, with 1.1 billion video views.
“It become our second most successful event ever behind Men’s World Cup in history. The big numbers we saw for audiences for women’s T20 means we must explore it. It has value”An official said
The ICC is now confident that there could now be an opportunity where the potential bidders could look at the Women’s game separately for broadcast rights.
As the Indian market in Women’s cricket is growing by the day, with the rise of teen sensation Shifali Verma along with the players like Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues, the ICC senses an opportunity.
India Leads In Viewership
As per data of viewers released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) last Thursday there was a staggering 5.2 billion viewing minutes for the tournament across the India. Total viewing minutes is now reached at after calculating that how many peoples watched a particular match for how much duration.
As India reached the finals of the Women’s T20 World Cup for the first time, although it lost the match, fans in India watched 1.78 billion minutes of live match action on TV of that game alone. A total of 9.2 million fans in India watched the tournament final which was also the most-watched women’s Cricket match ever in Australia.
In Australia, the average audience for the final was 1.2 million, the highest for Women’s Cricket match and the sixth highest for Cricket sports ever on subscription television in Australian Broadcast history.
Viewership Has Increased Many Folds
If we compare the viewership data, the figure for the final played on 8th March, 2020 (the women’s day) is around 59 times more than the final of the previous edition in 2018 between Australia and England Women.
Moreover, this time the total video views were more than 20 times the video views delivered in the previous edition played in the West Indies in 2018. Roughly 86,174 fans come to the stadium at Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch the final.
ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said, “These quite outstanding broadcast and digital numbers demonstrate the power of women’s cricket to aggregate a huge global audience and engage fans”.
“We want to build a long-term sustainable foundation for the game and commercialisation is a central plank of that which is why we are exploring the unbundling of rights,” Sawhney added.
If Finalised ICC To Follow Other Sports Bodies
Although a final decision is yet to be taken, if ICC decides to separate broadcast rights for women’s cricket, it would follow similar steps taken by other major sports bodies.
FIFA, global governing body for football, and Uefa, the governing body for football in Europe, have already begun to separate broadcast rights for women’s game.
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