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Women’s World Cup forecasted to attract 1.4 billion followers

New research from WSC Sports forecasts that growth in 'avid followers' of the Women’s World Cup is set to increase by 57%, from 929 million in 2019 to 1.472 billion in 2023 

As the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 gets ready to kick off in Australia and New Zealand tomorrow, research from WSC Sports – a global provider of AI-driven sports content – has forecasted a 57% increase in what it terms “avid followers” of the tournament, from 929 million in 2019 to 1.472 billion this year.

Avid fans are classed by WSC Sports as those who followed/will follow the Women’s World Cup ‘fully’, with casual fans defined as those who will followed/will follow ‘to some extent’.

The worldwide study surveyed more than 14,000 people spanning five continents and seven countries competing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023. The findings suggest that the tournament registers 46% awareness globally with England (66%) ranking highest, followed by Brazil (59%), co-hosts Australia (58%), United States (43%), Germany (40%), France (33%) and Japan (21%).

It also found that YouTube (43%) and Instagram (31%) are more popular ways for 16-24-year-olds to engage with sports than TV (30%) and TikTok (26%), with 47% of viewers set to follow the action via highlights and 30% of the global audience will watch via YouTube.

“Our research shows conclusively the rate at which interest and awareness of women’s sport is growing globally. It also underlines the role of digital platforms and short-format content in driving a bigger audience for the Women’s World Cup,” explained Daniel Shichman, CEO at WSC Sports.

“We’ve seen video demand from our clients increase 66%; with our AI-powered platform producing 3.5 million videos in the first half of 2023. Sports rights holders are starting to see that more digital content equals more engagement and bigger audiences. This is also true for women’s sport evidenced by the fact that engagement levels for our clients’ YouTube content has risen 35% year-on-year.”

“These figures mirror what this research is telling us about women’s sport: the more people watch, the more they want,” he added. “Women’s sport has a growing and increasingly passionate audience; one that becomes more and more attractive to sponsors and investors, whose contributions can make a huge difference in accelerating the growth of women’s leagues, events, and competitions, globally.”