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The Women’s World Cup was a resounding success in attracting new viewers to the sport.
According to financial analyst Deloitte, elite women’s sports will generate $1.28 billion in revenue in 2024, up 300% from three years ago.
The forecasts are based on three main revenue streams – gameday, broadcast and advertising – and predict that football and basketball will be the two most valuable sports, bringing in $555 million and $354 million, respectively, next year.
“In recent years, we have seen exceptional growth in women’s sport globally, resulting in significant increases in its commercial value, which in turn has led to growing interest from investors,” Jennifer Haskel, Insights Lead of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said.
“What is crucial is that women’s sport is increasingly seen as a unique product that is increasingly different from top-level men’s sport.”
The forecast comes at an exciting time for women’s sport, which has generally been on an upward trajectory in recent years.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup, for example, was a resounding success that opened up the sport to a whole new audience.
However, such tournaments have also shed light on where improvements are needed and where women still face discrimination in sport.
Spain’s World Cup victory, for example, was overshadowed by the controversy over unwanted kisses between former Spanish Football Federation boss Luis Rubiales and Jennifer Hermoso, which sparked a crisis in Spanish football and drew condemnation in Spain and around the world.
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Deloitte expects the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour to be a big contributor to revenue next year.
Deloitte forecasts that the valuations of women’s teams and leagues will continue to rise and broadcast contracts will become increasingly lucrative.
And as women’s sports continue to reach new heights in Europe, North America is expected to remain by far the most valuable geographic market. Deloitte predicts the region will bring in $670 million next year, accounting for 52% of the market.
“Broadcasters, streamers and social media platforms will play an important role in presenting major events that capture the interest of new and existing fans while creating an experience that is memorable and impactful,” said Paul Lee, global head of technology , media and telecommunications research at Deloitte, said.
“The next step will be to retain core viewers who loyally tune in to follow their favorite players, teams and competitions throughout the season.”