Women’s sport is gaining momentum. According to a report published by the Women’s Sports Trust, women’s sports was generating approximately £350m revenue per year in 2021 and is predicted to grow to an impressive £1 billion a year by 2030.
While we know that women’s professional sport is gaining in popularity, as is clear from the record viewing figures seen in 2021 and in the first quarter of 2022, there is undoubtedly still a long way to go. Yes, it is a growth industry, but it does not have the visibility it needs and deserves, and broadcasting has a big role to play in helping women’s sports reach an optimum position.
In this blog, we’ll look at 5 ways that broadcasting can help women’s sports to grow.
1. Improving visibility for women’s sport
Media coverage, visibility, and the relative success of a sport are irrevocably linked for a number of reasons. Increased media coverage can help to raise the profile of a particular sport, team or individual by making them more visible. Just look at how curling increased in popularity after the 2022 Winter Olympics, as a result of the media coverage surrounding it.
More visibility also helps with interaction – helping fans to engage, attracting new audiences, and even increasing the number of players at both a competitive and grassroots level. The LTA, the national governing body for tennis in Britain, recently issued a call to increase visibility of women’s sport by removing the inherent gender bias that exists within sport search engine results. Broadcasters and media outlets need to challenge this inherent bias and ensure that women’s sport is front and centre.
2. Diversifying sports content formats
The days when being a sports fan meant watching the match or the race on the weekend are well and truly over. It is clear that young people, namely Gen Z, are not engaging with sport in the same way as previous generations. This doesn’t mean to say that they don’t want to engage with sport, but they connect with players and teams in a different way. According to a report, 85% of the young people surveyed, engaged with sports on social media. This means that alongside long-form content, sports broadcasters need to provide content in different formats such as snackable, bitesize content, and this needs to be available across multiple platforms.
With an ever-increasing consumer thirst for new content and a desire to connect with teams and players on a deeper level, women’s sports broadcasters have the chance to capitalise on this and create new monetization opportunities. IP delivery models make it easier and more cost effective to transport and distribute this supplementary content.
3. Elevating women’s sport in new regions
Broadcasting is a key tool that raises both the awareness and the profile of women’s sport around the globe. The expense of broadcasting in certain regions has, in the past, been cost prohibitive because of the up-front costs associated with transporting video content via satellite or fibre. Booking fixed capacity in advance and managing the costs of infrastructure such as OB trucks can also be challenging, particularly for long-form sports and sports that have unpredictable durations, such as cricket or tennis.
In order to secure the success of women’s sports in the future, it is critical that steps are taken to engage with younger generations in new regions now. This is important in terms of engaging future fans, as well as engaging future sports participants, on both a personal and a professional level. Sports clubs and federations have to accept that viewing habits have moved on and content has to be delivered in multiple formats, leveraging global social platforms to drive engagement.
4. Tailoring broadcast delivery methods
Technological advances, namely, the use of IP delivery for transporting media content, are undeniably having a positive impact on women’s sports. Traditional contribution and distribution can be a complex and costly process. This is less of an issue for tier one events because of audience volume and sponsorship revenue. However, for other tiers, niche sports, or women’s sports that have been historically under-valued, the cost of delivering content has been a significant barrier to broadcasting a range of events. IP helps to lower the barrier to entry and offer fans a lot more variety.
Another consideration is the logistical complications with specific territories that sit outside a standard satellite footprint, as it can take multiple hops to reach these remote regions. In these cases, IP services can be used alongside existing content delivery networks to help broadcasters access audiences in new territories and expand content reach. New hybrid workflows leverage the best of both delivery methods.
5. A cloud-based future
Cloud-based content delivery is more cost effective than traditional delivery models and is opening up new opportunities to share events that in the past have been cost prohibitive to broadcast. The beauty of IP is its flexibility; infrastructure can be spun-up and spun-down so that content owners only pay for what they need. Hybrid workflows, combining traditional satellite delivery methods with IP delivery, can be tailored to meet the needs of the content owner.
This level of agility can really help to get more women’s sports content out there and is particularly beneficial for clubs and federations operating outside of tier one international events. Cerberus Tech’s reliable, global content delivery network for sports, live events, channels, and production is ready to take women’s sports content to new levels.
To find out more about how our IP solutions can fit seamlessly into your broadcast contribution and distribution workflows, please visit www.cerberus.tech or contact the team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org