Foxtel Group report details impact of increased coverage for women’s sport

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The Foxtel Group has released its annual report detailing progress in producing, broadcasting and building audiences for women’s and underrepresented sports in Australia.

The 2020-21 Game Changer reportreleased on International Women’s Day 2022, revealed results associated with Australian Government funding to help increase broadcast coverage of women’s and underrepresented sports.

These sports have traditionally struggled to gain broadcast coverage in mainstream media.

Highlights of the reports include:

• Broadcast of more than 4,700 hours of female and underrepresented sport

• Increase audience accessibility to funding-supported sports with games and events from every competition available to stream for free, in front of the paywall on Kayo, where rights permit

• Feature and support 23 different sports throughout the life of the grant including AFL, Athletics, Basketball, Baseball, Beach Volleyball, Cricket, Cycling, Fencing , field hockey, golf, gymnastics, rugby league, softball, surfing and surfing

Ratings highlights in 2020-21 include:

• the 2020 Australia-India Women’s Cricket World Cup final with an average audience of 450,000 people on Foxtel and Kayo, +175% compared to the 2018 final

• Women’s AFL with 2021 audiences +19% compared to 2019 and nearly 130,000 spectators for the victory of the Brisbane grand final against Adelaide, +65% compared to the 2019 grand final.

Foxtel Group CEO Patrick Delany said: “We are proud of what has been achieved for women’s and underrepresented sport through this multi-year initiative between the Australian Government and the Foxtel Group.

“Since 2018, women’s sport has represented 65% of the hours broadcast and broadcast via the initiative. Much remains to be done, but women’s sport is currently experiencing a transformation in popularity and participation, and the profile of Australian sportswomen has never been higher.

“Market research published yesterday by Fox Sports highlighted that two-thirds of Australians now watch women’s sports, and 69% of this group have increased their consumption of women’s sports since 2020.

“While we have reported annually to the government on the results of the initiative, we believe it is important to share these results more widely. A significant achievement in 2020-21 was being able to increase accessibility by making games from all competitions supported by government funding available to stream for free on Kayo where we have free rights.

“The 2020-21 year also presented many challenges resulting from the impact of COVID-19 on women’s sport that we have highlighted in this report. These sports will benefit from the two-year program funding extension announced by the government in July 2020,” he said.

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