Television viewership for women’s sports in the UK has doubled since last year following the England national soccer team’s success in the UEFA Women’s Euro, according to a study.

The latest figures by the Women’s Sport Trust (WST) charity showed that the average time per person viewing across all programming has increased by 188%.

The research, conducted by Futures Sport and Entertainment for WST, shows that 36.1 million people watched women’s sport on TV between January and July 2022, up from 17.5 million in the equivalent period in 2021.

Audiences watched for an average of 403 minutes in comparison to 140 minutes at this stage of last year.

Viewership for England’s win over Germany in the Women’s Euro final peaked at 17.4 million on TV, with 5.9 million online streams.

On public service broadcaster the BBC, streaming figures for the entire tournament reached 18 million, significantly higher than the 13.1 million for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019.

However, this year’s TV audiences have not reached the highs of 2019 when 40.4 million watched at least three minutes of women’s sport between January and July of that year, with the average viewing time per person across all programming being 525 minutes – 122 minutes more than in the same period in 2022.

Tammy Parlour, chief executive and co-founder of the Women’s Sport Trust, said: “The success of the Women’s Euros shows that if broadcasters are prepared to showcase women’s sport properly, both in terms of volume of coverage and prime time slots, audiences will respond in huge numbers and keep coming back for more.

“We also recognize that while changing consumption habits may have led to a decline in TV numbers compared to 2019, the fall shows that there is still much work to be done around growing women’s sport.”

Elsewhere, the report found that 16% of coverage hours on the BBC One and BBC Two channels, commercial broadcasters Channel 4 and ITV, and pay-TV giant Sky Sports were dedicated to women’s sport between January and July, in comparison to 9% in 2021, with 21% of viewing hours being for women’s sport in 2022 in contrast to 10% the previous year.

In addition, 35% of BBC One’s viewing hours were for women’s sport, despite being only 26% of the coverage hours, while 31% of BBC Two’s viewing hours were for women’s sport when only 23% of coverage hours were dedicated to women’s sport.

The study also showed that 57% of TV viewers have watched women’s sport on three or more occasions this year, which is a significant increase on the 26% who did so in 2021, although down from the 59% in 2019.

Around 54% of Women’s Euros viewers had watched women’s sport in 2022 prior to the tournament, in comparison to 41% of viewers who had watched women’s sport in 2019 before the World Cup.

The report outlined that 16% of those that watched the Women’s Euros had not watched any sport in 2022 prior to the tournament starting.

Overall, football has been responsible for 72% of audiences (based on viewing hours) for women’s sport between January and July.

Parlour concluded: “Women’s sport needs to translate this increased interest and attention into generating enhanced commercial revenue streams, such as merchandise, ticketing, and media rights, and unlock innovative ways to monetize the passionate women’s sports community, many of whom were new to sport during the Women’s Euros.

“In addition, different parts of the industry, be they a brand, broadcaster or league/federation, can play an important role in building connections between fans and female athletes and teams that will drive greater consumption in the future.”