ICC mulling over possibility of separate broadcast rights for women’s cricket

The tremendous success of the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia has propelled the International Cricket Council to explore options of separately inviting bidders for broadcast rights of women’s cricket, for the 2023-31 cycle.


 

Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana. Pic Credits: Getty Images

 


With 1.1 billion video views, the World Cup in Australia was the most-watched tournament in the history of women’s cricket.

 The ICC Board sees this as an opportunity wherein potential bidders could look at the women’s game separately for broadcast rights.

“It’s being explored although no decisions have been taken. But there’s potentially an opportunity there,” a senior ICC board member told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“The big numbers we saw for audiences for women’s T20 means we must explore it. It has value,” he added.

 The Indian market in women’s game is growing rapidly day by day and the ICC wants to make optimum use of that opportunity.

“1.1bn video views make it our second most successful event ever behind men’s World Cup last summer,” the veteran official said.

 As Indian women made the final of the T20 event for the first time, their fan armies watched 1.78 billion minutes of live match action on TV of that game alone.

 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 England edition of the ICC World Cup in 2017.

Also, not to forget the 86,000 strong crowds that had gathered in the MCG to support the teams. Though Australia outclassed India with a clinical performance, taking home the title for the 5th time, it can’t be denied that the support for the Indian eves at home has increased by leaps and bounds.

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Even the digital channels were not far behind with ICC channels recording 1.1 billion total views across platforms. While India’s Hotstar saw a million impressions among current users, Australia didn’t lag far behind as well.
 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 game ever on subscription TV in Australian sports broadcast history.

All in all, these figures speak volumes about the ‘good times’ that behold women cricket. And ICC no doubt has a huge role to play in this upheaval.

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