World Netball (WN) has today released the results of a Broadcast, Media and Sponsorship Report commissioned from YouGov on the Netball World Cup 2023 (NWC2023), which shows that the event, which took place from the 28th July – 6th August 2023 in South Africa, reached a live linear TV audience of 14.9 million, more than double that of the 2019 edition in Liverpool (7.3 million) and had a total linear TV audience of 27.6 million.
As part of WN’s mission to expand netball’s worldwide reach and impact, the NWC2023, on the event’s 60th anniversary, was hosted on the continent of Africa for the first time. Fans within the host country South Africa and across the continent got behind the event with South Africa and Pan Africa (Sub Sahara) accounting for 78% of the overall dedicated TV viewership.
The broadcast coverage on linear TV also saw a 72% increase from 2019 with 1,409 hours compared to 817 hours. This coverage came from a number of broadcasters in over 90 (97) countries around the globe with the most coverage coming from United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand, Malaysia and Brunei. UK and South Africa audiences were mainly Free-To-Air, where the BBC and SABC respectively were able to turn a relatively small amount of coverage into proportionately large audience, showing the popularity of netball and potential for future events.
Netball is predominantly played by women and girls and the TV audiences were on average 54% female and 46% male.
Continuing to grow the global audience WN showed every match live, in countries where broadcast rights hadn’t been sold, on their OTT platform, NetballPass, which had 460,000 users during the event. This contributed to the event reaching a digital streaming audience of 2 million, with 976 hours of digital coverage.
Whilst on social media 106,200 social media posts, generated 3.2 billion impressions, and 1,588 videos accumulated 12.7 million views; The most popular social media video from the tournament was a TikTok video featuring home nation South Africa securing a last second draw against the then defending world champions New Zealand.
Combining linear TV, digital streaming, and social media videos the event amassed a total viewership of 42.3 million.
A further 8,052 online press articles contributed to the digital footprint of the event, with a potential cumulative readership of 1.2 billion.
The record-breaking coverage and reach across all platforms, linear, digital and social, helped to ensure that the NWC2023 sponsors, who were already part of the most successful sponsorship programme in Netball World Cup history, also benefited with a Gross Advertising Value of £132.0 million and Net Value Sponsorship Values of £47.9 million.
Overall, the NWC2023 exceeded expectations for broadcasters, sponsors and WN, ensuring WN continues to GROW, PLAY and INSPIRE, reaching new audiences, both within Africa and globally, showcasing outstanding athletes and inspiring generations to come.