Women’s elite sport is forecast to generate more than £1bn in global revenue for the first time next year, according to a study by Deloitte.
Analysts predict that the figure will hit $1.28bn (£1.01bn) in 2024, almost double the total generated in 2022 and a 30 per cent increase on this year.
“Over the last few years we have seen exceptional growth in women’s sport across the globe, driving a significant uplift in its commercial value, which in turn has led to growing interest from investors,” said Jennifer Haskel, insights lead for Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
“Crucially, women’s sport is increasingly being viewed as a unique product that is becoming ever more distinct from men’s elite sport.”
Football is forecast to generate the most revenue of any women’s sport, with $555m (£439m), followed by basketball’s $354m (£280m).
North America is by far the biggest market and expected to account for more than half of all income generated by women’s sport.
Women’s teams valuations are set to top $100m for the first time, while broadcasters are tipped to continue moving live coverage to more prime time slots.
“Women’s sport is on an impressive growth trajectory,” said Paul Lee, global head of technology, media and telecoms research at Deloitte.
“The next step will be maintaining habitual viewers who loyally tune in to watch their favourite players, teams and competitions across the season.”
It has boosted attendances in the Women’s Super League and attracted interest from investors in English clubs, such as Mercury/13’s takeover approach for Lewes FC.
Haskel added: “This surge in fan and investor engagement is leading to new and improved opportunities for clubs and leagues, including greater commercial partnerships, increased participation and bigger matchdays.
“In order to ensure this growth remains consistent and sustainable, sports organisations must ensure that investment is directed to the right places such as encouraging fan loyalty, player welfare and maintaining competition across leagues.”