Dubai, April 2 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday revealed record digital and broadcast viewing figures for the Womens T20 World Cup 2020, which has become one of the most watched womens sporting events in history.
ICC’s digital channels were in overdrive during the February 21 to March 8 event in Australia, with an astonishing 1.1 billion total video views, making it the most watched ICC women’s event ever and the second most successful ICC event after the Men’s World Cup 2019.
The figure was more than 20 times the video views delivered in the previous edition played in the West Indies in 2018 and 10 times the previous most successful women’s cricket event, which was the Women’s World Cup in 2017.
The record-breaking trend continued via broadcast with the final of the event achieving record viewership in both India and Australia, after their teams played in front of 86,174 fans at Melbourne Cricket Ground on International Women’s Day.
As India made the final of the event for the first time, fans watched 1.78 billion viewing minutes of live match action on TV of that game alone. The figure is 59 times more than the final of the previous edition in 2018 between Australia and England, and comprised 35 per cent of the overall viewership for the tournament.
The live average audience for the final in India was 9.02 million, higher than all matches of the 2018 tournament played in the West Indies. This figure is 154 per cent higher than the second most viewed match in the competition – the tournament opener between Australia and India on February 21. The overall viewing minutes across the whole event in India was 5.4 billion, almost three times more than the 2018 edition.
The digital streaming figures too were impressive in India, peaking at 3.1 million for concurrent users of Hotstar during the final.
In Australia, the average audience for the final was 1.2 million, making it the most watched women’s cricket match and the sixth-most watched cricket match ever on subscription television in Australian broadcast history.
Chief Executive Manu Sawhney: “These quite outstanding broadcast and digital numbers demonstrate the power of women’s cricket to aggregate a huge global audience and engage fans. This undoubtedly consolidates our position as one of the leading women’s sports in the world and we want to build on the momentum from this event and create a long-term sustainable foundation for the game.
“We have built on the record-breaking success of the Men’s World Cup 2019 and continued our focus on deepening engagement with existing fans and bringing new fans to the game with relevant, engaging content that goes beyond match highlights. Cricket fans want competitive cricket with context and the world’s best players did not disappoint in Australia earlier this year,” he added.