Women's Football

Women's Football Weekend sees WSL sets new record for TV viewing figures

Jamie Spencer
More people watched the WSL on TV in the last round of matches than ever before
More people watched the WSL on TV in the last round of matches than ever before / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

WSL matches broadcast live on BBC and Sky Sports drew in a record cumulative audience of more than 1.5m during Women’s Football Weekend on 13-14 November.

The FA has dedicated the men’s November international break to promoting the women’s game in recent years, with an absence of Premier League or EFL Championship fixtures giving a chance for fans to experience WSL or Women’s Championship games, in some cases for the first time.

Attendances at every WSL match on Saturday and Sunday were higher than usual. Tottenham pulled in nearly 2,900 for the north London derby against Arsenal, their biggest ever crowd at The Hive, while Manchester City and Brighton both welcomed more than 3,000 fans.

The attendance spikes weren’t exclusive to the WSL either, with Championship duo Bristol City and Durham both breaking club records with their crowd sizes.

But beyond match-going fans, the WSL also set a new TV record on Women’s Football Weekend.

Across the three live matches broadcast on UK television – Tottenham vs Arsenal (BBC), Everton vs Manchester United and Manchester City vs Chelsea (both Sky Sports), there was a cumulative peak audience of 1,547,000.

That number exceeds the 1.5m that tuned in for the live matches shown on BBC and Sky Sports on the opening weekend of the season in September.

The multi-year deal with BBC and Sky Sports has been a game-changer for the WSL. It has monetised the broadcast rights within the UK for the first time ever, bringing revenue to clubs, and has brought a whole new level of production value to live TV matches.

The increased exposure in tandem with more obvious accessibility – something the relatively niche FA Player struggles with - has also made the WSL a more attractive watch like never before.

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