The World Netball governing body has announced that its 2023 Netball World Cup (NWC) reached more than double the linear TV audience of the 2019 edition.

The event, which took place between July 28 and August 6 in Cape Town, South Africa, drew a total live linear audience of 14.9 million people, more than double the 7.3 million that watched the 2019 edition.

When including non-live match replays, the total audience for the tournament expanded to 27.6 million, per a poll commissioned by World Netball.

The event was the first edition of the NWC in its 60-year history to be hosted on the African continent.

The tournament naturally saw a major boost in viewership in that region, with fans in the host country and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole accounting for 78% of the dedicated TV viewership.

In South Africa itself, the event was broadcast on both free-to-air national broadcaster SABC, as well as pan-African pay-TV heavyweight SuperSport across the continent.

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By GlobalData

The NWC 2023 was aired globally on the NetballPass streaming platform, meanwhile, with viewers from countries not possessing TV deals for the tournament able to view the NWC 2023 on the service.

Sub-Saharan Africa was one such region that benefitted through broadcasts of all 60 matches, 30 minutes after the live broadcast had ended.

NetballPass reached a digital streaming audience of 2 million people worldwide across the tournament, with 460,000 users streaming games.

When factoring in the social media video viewership of the tournament, which sat at 12.7 million views, it meant that the event saw a total viewership of 42.3 million across linear, digital, and social media platforms.

Netball World also announced that the tournament saw a strong performance on the sponsorship side.

The NWC 2023 was title sponsored by UK-based life insurance company Vitality, which has been the dominant commercial partner for the sport in the UK.

Netball World also revealed that the event had a total net sponsorship value of £47.9 million ($602.2 million), which it has stated is the “most successful” sponsorship program in NWC history.