- Sky Sports targets new audiences for women’s sport in 2020
- Live women’s sport to be showcased to brand new audiences via Sky Sports YouTube channel
- Sky Sports to invest in more new, original, women’s sport digital content and programming
Sky Sports has announced plans to increase its commitment to women’s sport in 2020 by expanding its existing coverage and strengthening its digital output.
Ahead of International Women’s Day this Sunday, Sky Sports has pledged to diversify and increase its digital content output for its 24 million+ customers across seven countries.
It began broadcasting women’s cricket 24 years ago in June 1996, which saw more than 1.8 million people watching the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup final.
Sky Sports was also the first broadcaster to show netball in 2004.
Its dedicated YouTube channel will see “even more of this incredible live women’s sport accessible,” the company said which will enable new audiences to watch and engage with some of the world’s best female athletes.
This is supported by a full schedule of live coverage across Sky Sports channels, including Main Event, Action, Arena, cricket, golf and Sky Sports Mix which will show several key events this year.
The broadcaster said in a statement: “Over the following 16 years popularity has visibly increased as viewing figures saw 550k people tune in to watch as England’s Vitality Roses were beaten in a thrilling Netball World Cup semi-final last year.”
So far in 2020, Sky Sports has live-streamed the Netball Superleague with a number of women’s competitions due to come, including women’s cricket, women’s major golf tournaments, WNBA and the Women’s Six Nations, which is set to reach an exciting climax on 15 March.
Sky Sports managing director Rob Webster said: “Sky Sports has been a long-standing partner and champion of women’s sport and this is a natural next step to ensure that brand new audiences are able to connect with the drama and excitement created by the players and teams.
“Sky Sports News will continue to be at the heart of this pledge and will ensure consistent 24-hour editorial coverage of women’s sport across both linear and digital platforms. The evolution will mean no longer grouping women’s sport collectively in a standalone programme each week but instead ensuring it is represented across our output in our rolling 24-hour coverage.
“We appreciate the responsibility we have, we know the platforms we own help sports grow and prosper, this is an important step in the right direction for our all-round coverage of women’s sport.”
The broadcaster announced plans for an Extraordinary Women series, Training with MMA Star Leah McCourt and a behind-the-scenes series called My Life in Lyon.
Its increase in digital output is driven by utilising “brand new audiences” visa the Sky Sports YouTube channel where the live women’s sports will be aired along with its investment in more original programming and content across digital.
Sky Sports head of multisport Georgina Faulkner added: “Sky Sports are investing in a 360 approach to covering women’s sport.
“The live streaming will bring fans closer to the action, the 24/7 rolling Sky Sports News coverage will keep fans constantly updated and our world-class digital production and storytelling will peel back the layers of women’s sport like never before.
“This digital-led initiative will bring more sporting stories to new audiences with the ambition of creating long-term connections for both existing and future generations.”