There has been an upsurge in global female viewership for sports events. Further, it has been observed globally that apart from watching the game, female fans follow it over second screens for game-related activities, majorly on social media.
In India too, sports viewership is no longer male dominated, as females and kids comprise a significant portion of the viewership pie. Compared with last year, IPL’s female viewership in the first four weeks of the 2018 tournament has grown 18%, and its impressions have grown from 606 million in 2017 to 717.4 million. Impressions refers to the number of people watching the tournament at any given point via live telecast, reports Business Standard.
The average time spent by women watching the tournament has also grown – from 31.07 minutes in 2017 to 33.09 minutes now, an increase of 7%. Fifty-nine per cent of the female viewership is coming from urban markets this season, against 56% in 2017.
These trends clearly show that broadcasters and sponsors need to modify their strategies to cater to the increasing number of female viewers, says a report by KPMG on the business of sports. A few advertisers and sponsors have already started capitalising on these trends. For instance, Zivame, an online lingerie store tied-up with U Mumba, a Pro-Kabaddi team, to support a cause outlining the need to safeguard the dignity of women.
Teams and sports associations are also cognizant of the fact and are trying to attract the attention of female viewership and fandom. In fact, parallel tournaments are being organised for women in cricket and football; for example, the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup was held in parallel for both men and women teams.
Several teams are also planning to establish sports academies for women. Gauging the market enthusiasm, this trend of women following and playing sports is likely to stay.