January 10, 2020 Caitlin Rees

Introduction

2019 was one to celebrate for women’s sport. With equal pay agreements, big sporting wins and record audiences, women’s sports are in the spotlight now more than ever.

We saw record breaking audiences with 11.7 million viewers in the UK tuning in to watch England’s football semi-final defeat against the US, making it the most watched television programme of 2019. It’s not just women’s football that is the success story. In 2018 England Netball won gold at the Commonwealth Games with a record 1.8m people watching. Since then the sport has continued to see significant growth in both participation and engagement among women and young girls.

Despite these successes, women’s sport continues to struggle in comparison with its male counterpart. While there seems to be a lot of buzz surrounding women’s sport and the opportunity it presents, there is still a long way to go to understand: how do we continue to shift the dial on viewing figures for women’s sport?; why aren’t more women watching women’s sport? what’s hindering women’s engagement with sport?; and where do the biggest opportunities lie?

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