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How has Women's Football viewership changed over the past decade?

The viewership of women’s football has increased significantly over the past 12 months. Why has this been?


The average viewer watched 8 hours 44 minutes of women's sport in 2022, compared to 3 hours 47 minutes in 2021. This could be due to the Lionesses Euro victory in July 2022, where England women beat Germany 2-1 in the Euro final at Wembley Stadium.

37.6 million watched domestic women's sport in 2022, beating the previous high of 32.9m in 2021, with the Women's Super League alone picking up 16 million unique viewers during 2022.


The Women’s Super League (WSL) was created in 2011, with 8 teams joining the league. Now, in 2023, there are 12 teams in the league, with the addition of The Women’s Super League two (WSL2) being introduced in 2014. The WSL has increased the quality of play and the level of investment. The table below shows the average attendance of WSL matches from 2012 to 2020.

Year

Attendance

2012

570

2013

573

2014

747

2015

1108

2016

1102

2017

924

2018

838

2019

1109

2020

3016

The graph shows a drastic increase of average match attendance from 2012 to 2020, which could encourage more young girls to participate in football. The WSL has captivated an average of 6,000, so far this season. This is a 200% increase on the 2021-22 season. This could be due to the Lionesses 2022 Euro victory, which has had many positive impacts. 5.1 million only watched the WSL, and not the Premier League in 2021.

Furthermore, 8 million people watched the Women's Euros but didn't watch the men's FIFA World Cup. The final at Wembley, in July 2022, broke the men’s and women’s Euro attendance record, acclimating a crowd of 87,192 people. The Final also garnered a peak TV audience of 17.4m on the BBC, with 365 million watching across the globe. This figure is more than double the previous tournament.


The Lionesses Euro 2022 victory has had many positive impacts such as; increased fan attendances, increased participation in women’s football and also increased media coverage. The average WSL match attendance has more than doubled since the women’s success last Summer and according to the FA, there are currently 29 million women and girls playing football worldwide. This has increased massively since the Euro victory.


It is incredible to see how far Women's football has come since the beginning of the new millennium and hopefully it will continue to grow.


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