BLOG | by Charlie Dundas
Two-fifths of British cricket fans say they are likely to watch the Women’s Premier League
The cricket Women’s Premier League is the most lucrative tournament in women’s cricket, and it’s caught the attention of British cricket fans.
Even before the first ball of India’s newly launched Women’s Premier League tournament had been bowled, it had begun drawing the attention of cricket fans in Britain. Ahead of International Women’s Day 2023, we look into the women’s cricket landscape in Britain and the potential of the Women’s Premier League.
A YouGov Surveys poll conducted between February 28 and March 1 reveals that one in two women’s cricket fans in Britain had heard about the event (51%). While this was well below the share of those who have heard about the women’s edition of The Hundred (77%), it was already close to Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (56%), which has been running for eight seasons now. Interestingly, it also beats the share of those who have heard about the Women’s Cricket Super League, which is a local T20 tournament (47%).
Interestingly, among the overall British population, people were almost twice as likely to have heard about the Women’s Premier League (15%) than the Women’s Big Bash League (8%).
The relatively high degree of awareness that the Women’s Premier League has already garnered is not entirely surprising, given that it has been in the news over the huge sums of money involved. The franchise rights for the five teams were sold at a total of almost £500 million and some of the top players will make good money. England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt, for example, was picked up by Mumbai Indians for more than £300,000 in the player auction for the 22-day tournament.
But how likely are Brits to watch the league? Upon being provided some background about the Women’s Premier League, two-fifths of all cricket fans in Britain said they are either somewhat likely or very likely to watch it (40%). Looking specifically at women’s cricket fans, this share shoots up to more than two-thirds (67%).
Encouragingly, over a quarter of consumers who follow women’s sports other than cricket on a regular basis, also say that they are likely to watch or follow the Women’s Premier League (28%). This group might include fans who watch cricket occasionally.
Popularity of established women’s cricket leagues among Brits
The Hundred and the Women’s T20 World Cup are easily, the most popular leagues among Brits at the present. More than half of women’s cricket fans said they watched the Women’s T20 World Cup in the past 12 months (56%) and The Hundred wasn’t far behind (54%). While the share of those who say they will watch the Women’s Premier League is slightly higher, it is worth remembering that the percentage of those who follow through on a stated intention is usually lower. Even so, the Women’s Premier League, which is being telecast by Sky Sports, has a chance to build a sizeable fan-base in Britain.
Meanwhile, only a fifth of women’s cricket fans said they watched the Women’s Big Bash League (20%) with an even smaller share reporting watching the Kia Super League (17%). Plausibly, shares are lower for the Kia Super League because it hasn’t been marketed to the same extent as the other leagues on the list, with not all matches being telecast.
Interestingly, among men’s cricket fans, the women’s edition of The Hundred (39%) has been noticeably more popular than the Women’s T20 World Cup (34%).
Short-form cricket the way to go to grow women’s cricket
Nearly half of women’s cricket fans feel that short-form cricket is the way to go to further grow the sport (46%). But over a fifth of them (22%) feel that one-day cricket might be the most-effective medium and a similar proportion of them (19%) place their bets on multi-day cricket to do the trick.
But perhaps on a matter relating to growth of the game, it is more pertinent to see the views of people who don’t already follow the sport. Britons who follow one or more women’s sports on a regular basis but not cricket are twice as likely to vote for short-form cricket as a medium of growth than one-day cricket (28% vs 15%). Multi-day cricket is a far less popular choice among this group with only 5% selecting it.
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BLOG | by Charlie Dundas
Managing Director YouGov Sport
With over 15 years’ experience in the sports and sponsorship field, Charlie’s role at YouGov Sport is to develop new market opportunities as the company continues to grow internationally. He also assists established and future clients to get the most from YouGov Sport’s market-leading tools and research techniques.
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