Last modified on Tue 5 Oct 2021 23.12 BST
A fifth of UK adults have increased their following of women’s sport during the pandemic, research has found, with many citing the rise in coverage as a reason for their greater interest.
A report published by Leaders in Sport and Sky Sports found that 21% of adults have spent more time following women’s sport in the past 18 months, with 68% of those attributing that to increased coverage and the quality of the coverage. The biggest rise was among men, with 24% of those surveyed saying they were following more women’s sport.

The new Women’s Super League broadcast rights deal, worth £8m a season, has Sky Sports showing up to 44 live games – two fixtures per round – and the BBC one live game per round, with 18 of its 22 matches on BBC One or BBC Two. The other 75 games are also available on the FA Player.
Increased visibility of women’s football generally has also played a role in drawing eyes to games, with 19% saying news reporting on women’s sport had made them want to watch games live or on TV and 41% believe broadcasting of women’s sport should be treated the same as men’s.
Tracey Crouch MP, chair of the fan-led review into football and a former sports minister, said: “This new research shows that despite the challenges of the pandemic, women’s sport has great resilience and is not just surviving but thriving after an exciting summer of sport.”
The managing director of Sky Sports, Jonathan Licht, said: “The success of [cricket’s] the Hundred and the incredible viewing figures for the Women’s Super League at the start of the new broadcast deal highlight the momentum behind women’s sport.”

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