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Women’s sports are becoming more popular, according to new FOX SPORTS study



According to new research released today by Fox Sports, the popularity of women’s sport has increased, with two-thirds (66%) of Australians tuning in to watch women’s sport on TV. Seven out of ten (69%) of those who saw a shift in watching have increased their intake of women’s sports since the pandemic, demonstrating Australians’ increased commitment.

Ahead of International Women’s Day 2022, the research shows amongst Aussies who admit their opinion of women’s sports had changed, the overwhelming majority (90 per cent) say it was in a positive way. The study found 72 per-cent of males are tuning in to women’s sport and across AFLW, NRLW and WBBL, two-thirds of those watching are men.

Cricket, Australian Rules Football, and Netball, all of which are accessible on Fox Sports, were among the most popular, accounting for 41% of all viewers. The 2020 Women’s Cricket World Cup in Australia received the greatest ratings in Fox Sporting history, with the final between Australia and India receiving the highest rating Women’s sports moment ever with an audience of over 450,000 viewers.

The Women’s Big Bash League is also growing in popularity, with the 2020 final between the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder being the most watched WBBL game ever on Foxtel and Kayo with over 130,000 viewers. The AFLW is also gaining in popularity, with nearly 130,000 people watching Brisbane’s Grand Final triumph over Adelaide in 2021, up 65 percent from the previous year’s Grand Final. The Suncorp Super Netball season, as well as NRLW and AFLW, is exclusively live and ad-free on Foxtel and Kayo this year, with every game broadcast across the two platforms.

The growth of media coverage around female sporting events and stars has become a leading driver of success with over half (56 per cent) of Aussies saying this resulted in a spike in viewing while nearly one in two (49 per cent) say it increased due to dedicated broadcast coverage. Fox Sports is the largest broadcaster for women’s sports nationally delivering 15 different women’s sports across 24 competitions to its more than 2.4 million sports subscribers.

Foxtel Group Chief Content and Commercial Officer, Amanda Laing, said:

“With more than 2.4 million sports subscribers across our brands, the Foxtel Group is passionate about giving Australia’s biggest women’s sports and the stellar athletes that front them a platform for growth. There is no doubt 2022 is going to be a year of radical transformation in popularity and participation.

“As women’s sport across different codes goes from strength to strength, it’s clear that Australians have a huge appetite for watching great sport regardless of whether it is being played by men or women. With greater exposure comes more fans, more sponsorship, and more attendance for the sports which we partner with, ultimately strengthening a sport by providing stronger revenue.

“The Foxtel Group is proud to be working to help deliver these benefits to women’s sport in Australia, broadcasting more than 4,700 hours of women’s sport across 15 different codes and 24 competitions, and this is just the beginning with more investment to come.”

With viewership on the rise, Aussies are being inspired by female sports stars to hit the field or the court. Two in five (40 per cent) who watch women’s sport admitting they have either been inspired or considered playing the sport themselves after tuning in on TV, solidifying the importance of broadcast coverage in inspiring participation.

Every game of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup will be available to watch through a dedicated 24/7 channel on Foxtel, giving fans access live and ad-break free, until April 3. This followed an announcement by Kayo that every game of the World Cup will be made available via Kayo Freebies.

This new research from Fox Sports coincides with Foxtel Group’s launch of Game Changer, a new annual report detailing progress in producing, televising, and building audiences for women’s and underrepresented sports in Australia, which will be released this week.