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With 105 Million Unique Viewers Women’s T20 Challenge Sets Record-breaking Viewership

Smriti Mandhana And Injured Harmanpreet Kaur ,The Hundred, T20 Challenge Sets Record-breaking Viewership

The Women’s T20 Challenge (WT20C), between 4 to 9 November 2020, created a new history by breaking all kinds of viewership records across TV and digital platforms for a women’s cricket event. The event in Sharjah recorded a 2.45-times rise in the viewership figure from the 2.20 billion minutes the 2019 edition recorded. The 2020 edition logged 5.34 billion minutes in viewership in India. As many as 105 million unique viewers watched the tournament as opposed to last season’s 71 million viewers. With this record, it sets an encouraging sign for the potential Women’s IPL.

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According to the Broadcast data obtained by ESPNcricinfo from Broadcast Audience Research Council India and Star, the tournament recorded a 147 percent increase in viewing minutes. The women’s tournament has also noticed a 47 percent rise in unique viewers in India from 2019. “The record-breaking viewership for the Women’s T20 challenge is a testament to the love for women’s cricket in India,” Sanjog Gupta, Head of Sports at Star India, said.

The Indian women cricketers were on a roller coaster ride last month as the BCCI scheduled the Women’s T20 Challenge in the UAE alongside the IPL play-off. It was also clashing with the schedule of the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia. “At Star India, we amplified the reach and engagement through a mega cast in five language-feeds [Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada] across 11 channels, giving it an unprecedented reach, similar to that of IPL,” Gupta noted.

Jhulan Goswami cheered for the growing viewership in women’s cricket

Earlier the Women’s T20 World Cup, between 21 February to 8 March in 2020, also created history by recording 1.1 billion views. It became the second most-successful International Cricket Council (ICC) event in history. “India’s success in making it to the final boosted audience interest in the 2020 T20 World Cup, making it the most watched ICC women’s T20 event in history”, read the statement sent by ICC in June.

“India live viewing hours were 86.15m which is 152% higher than the 2018 tournament, driven by India’s success and the broadcast of select India matches by Star Sports…,” the statement read.

Jhulan Goswami, who played for Trailblazers, told ESPNcricinfo, “I am delighted with the way the tournament has been received by TV-watching people in India in such a challenging year.”

“Women’s cricket, especially Indian women’s cricket, has been dealt a severe blow by the pandemic, and nothing seems to be on the horizon to get the ball rolling. This news [of the numbers] could help motivate not just those of us (who participated in the tournament) but also young girls in India dreaming to be professional cricketers despite seemingly insurmountable odds,” the 37-year-old also explained how the tournament could prove to be fruitful for Indian women cricketers and that the young cricketers have a bright future ahead.

Also Read: Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur Among Four Indians In ICC’s Women’s Teams Of The Decade

Feature Image Credit: Indian Express

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