ICC to explore unbundling media rights to women's events after T20 success
The International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body, is considering separating the media rights of future women’s events after the success of the Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year.
Yesterday, the ICC shared record television broadcast, digital audience and attendance numbers from the tournament held in Australia, saying it had set "new benchmarks."
It was only the second time that the Women's T20 World Cup had been held as a standalone event. The first five were held concurrently with the men's edition, and the rights are still packaged together.
In a statement, ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney, ICC’s chief executive, said: “All our data points over the last three years have shown us that fans are interested in women’s cricket. There is an audience for women’s cricket out there and rights holders along with broadcasters and brands are starting to realise that.
“There is a clear opportunity here for the sport and we are currently exploring various options to optimise value generation including the unbundling of women’s rights.”
The ICC secured 1.1 billion views for videos of the Women's T20 World Cup that went out via its digital and social media channels, the second most views for any ICC event, after the Men’s Cricket World Cup last year.
A record was also set for the tournament’s broadcast viewing figures, with the final between Australia and India generating 1.78 billion minutes of live watched action.
Hotstar, the digital streaming platform of the Star India broadcasting network, which showed the final, secured a peak concurrent users figure of 3.1 million for the game, while an average audience of 1.2 million watched on 9GEM in Australia.
Sawhney said: “As broadcasters and brands start to invest specifically in women’s sports then promotional budgets will follow. This third party promotion combined with the reinvestment of income will help our aspiration to accelerate the growth of the game.”
The 2020 Men's T20 World Cup is due to take place in Australia from 18 October to 15 November.