The ICC have announced remarkable viewing numbers for the live streams from the Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, held recently in Sri Lanka. A total of 1.75 million people watched the live streams, whilst the highlights packages attracted an amazing 18 million viewers – and all for a tournament which didn’t even feature the top 4 teams!
Tournament Director Holly Colvin, the ex-England spinner who now works for the ICC, said:
“It’s great to know that so many people took interest in the competition and watched the live-stream and highlights.”
“I’m extremely excited for the Women’s World Cup which will take the game to the next level and set the stage to attract even more fans to the global game.”
Sadly one thing we do know is that the World Cup itself will not attract these kinds of numbers – certainly not in England anyway, where it will be hidden away behind Sky’s paywall, where new fans will simply be unable to stumble across it.
Nevertheless it is certainly still great news. After the success of the WBBL live-streams, “online” really does appear to be the way to go for the future of women’s cricket; and with numbers like these, it might even be possible to fund such coverage through advertising and sponsorship, so the old “we don’t have the budget” excuses won’t apply. And if this is the future… we can’t wait!!