The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday (April 2) revealed the staggering numbers that fueled the success of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia between February 21 and March 8. The event was one of the most-watched across various platforms and gave women’s cricket a huge boost.
ICC digital channels saw as many as 1.1 billion views, making it the most watched women's cricket event ever, and the second-most successful ICC event after the men's ODI World Cup in 2019. The final number was over 20 times that of the previous edition of the Women's T20 World Cup in the West Indies and over 10 times more than the Women's World Cup in 2017.
“These quite outstanding broadcast and digital numbers demonstrate the power of women’s cricket to aggregate a huge global audience and engage fans," said Manu Sawhney, ICC chief executive. "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."
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On March 8, a record 86,174 people attended the final between Australia and India at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was the largest crowd for a women’s sporting event in Australia. The hosts clinched their fifth T20 World Cup title, thrashing India by 85 runs.
India made the final for the first time, and as many as 1.78 billion viewing minutes of that match alone were watched by a global audience. The number is 59 times more than the 2018 final between Australia and England and comprises close to 35 per cent of this tournament's viewership alone.
9.02 million watched the final live in India alone - higher than all matches of the 2018 T20 World Cup. This was 154 per cent more than more than the next most-viewed match of the tournament, which happened to be the opening encounter between the same two teams. Through the course of the tournament, the total number of viewing minutes in India equaled 5.4 billion minutes - close to three times more than two years ago.
“All this reinforces our belief that there is a significant opportunity around the women’s game and collectively we must promote it further so more fans can watch it, more kids are inspired by it and sponsors and broadcasters want to be a part of it," Sawhney continued.
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“We have built on the record-breaking success of the ICC Men’s Cricket 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.”
The digital streaming numbers on Hotstar were also impressive - the final seeing a high of 3.1 million users tuning it at once.
In Australia too the viewership numbers were impressive with 1.2 billion viewers, making it the sixth-most watched cricket match ever on subscription television Australian broadcast history.