The 2020 women's T20 World Cup has officially become the most-watched women's cricket event in history for that format. According to numbers released by the ICC on Monday, the tournament reached 89 million unique audience members globally, a 131% increase over the number for the 2018 edition, which was the first standalone women's T20 World Cup, held in the West Indies. In Australia, the final recorded an average audience of 1.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched women's cricket match in the country's broadcast history.
Although the ICC did not share the aggregate viewership data for the 2018 edition, the upsurge during this year's tournament was a result of many factors, one of them being the increase in live-coverage hours by 62% compared to the 2018 edition.
Also, the 2020 edition was held in Australia, and therefore the match timings were more suitable for the Indian and subcontinental audience. That boosted global viewing hours from 55.9 million to 113.5 million, with 76% of the views coming from India. India's live-viewing hours were 86.15 million, 152% higher than the 2018 edition.
The overall live-viewing hours in Australia were 13.45 million, 473% higher than the 2018 edition. Among other factors, that was driven by an increase in coverage on free-to-air channels.
Interest peaked during the final, played between India and the hosts. That was the most-watched game of the tournament with 53 million viewers tuned in. Unfortunately for the 2018 edition, India and hosts West Indies had crashed out in the semi-finals, leaving Australia and England to fight for the title, leading to lower numbers in comparison.
The 2020 edition also clocked up 1.1 billion video views via ICC's digital channels, more than 20 times the video views delivered in 2018 and ten times that of the 2017 50-over World Cup, the most successful women's cricket event before the 2020 competition. These figures also make the 2020 T20 World Cup the second-most-successful ICC event ever, after the 2019 men's 50-over World Cup.