Why FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 will change global coverage of womens’ sports forever
As FIFA polishes the Women’s World Cup trophy, audiences around the globe are tuned into every moment of the tournament which kicked off in Paris, France on Friday, June 7th. Ossian Shine, Reuters Global Sports Editor, discusses the tournament’s impact on women’s sports, and the not-to-be-missed Women’s World Cup coverage from Reuters.
In 2015, the tournament in Canada generated a record-breaking 750 million viewers and this year that number is expected to soar even higher.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino set the viewer target at 1 billion this year and broadcasters around the world are taking note.
The appetite for women’s soccer – and women’s sport in general – is only growing day by day,” says Ossian Shine, Reuters Global Sports Editor. “The sport features fantastic stories and back stories and it’s a very exciting time to be covering women’s events, and sharing the athletes’ stories.
Generally we have seen, across the industry, a spike in interest in women’s sport, and the women’s world cup in particular, and as interest has grown, our coverage has grown and become more sophisticated.
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 coverage from Reuters will go beyond the matches and press conferences.
“Reuters has covered every women’s world cup since the first in 1991, but this year our coverage is bigger, broader and deeper than ever,” says Shine. “Generally we have seen, across the industry, a spike in interest in women’s sport, and the Women’s World Cup in particular. As interest has grown, our coverage has grown and become more sophisticated.”
In order to tackle issues such as gender discrimination and unequal pay within women’s sport, leaders in the industry are moving to make improvements. FIFA’s strategy aims to double women’s participation in football to 60 million by 2026. UEFA confirmed earlier this year that they will boost funds for women’s football by £2.4million – a 50% increase.
FIFA’s strategy aims to double women’s participation in football to 60 million by 2026
Women’s World Cup 2019 is also gaining huge attention from audiences, without having to switch on a television. Social media platforms have recognized the spirit and excitement in the build up and have found new ways to celebrate off the pitch.
The Telegraph has launched @TelegraphWomensSport as a multi-platform channel on Instagram. Sharing behind-the-scenes stories, freestyle footballer Lisa Zimouche and US football star Alex Morgan have also used Instagram to launch @football4women which shows all the action taking place in advance of the first match. They currently have 76,000 followers and is providing strong content building excitement within audiences.
The focus for many brands and publishers is engaging audiences with powerful storytelling throughout the tournament. To help with this, “Reuters will be providing coverage of every single match at the Women’s World Cup, and will be telling the stories behind the results,” says Shine. The team has already interviewed a number of big names and former stars, including “Scottish soccer legend” Rhonda Jones and “Lyon’s English lioness” Lucy Bronze. “We will be looking to explore the characters involved, and tell the stories of their journeys.”
Our sports partners are geared up to provide a variety of coverage over the next four weeks.
Aflo (one of Japan’s largest providers of still and moving imagery) and Panoramic (a French news agency specializing in photography) will produce pictures from the 11 group stage matches, the semi-finals and the final.
Video coverage from Player’s Tribune will capture first-person stories and candid interviews from athletes while Perform will provide head-to-head previews, fast match reports, “5 things match reviews” for the 52 match, behind-the-scenes and viral moments off the pitch, and videos about social media reactions.
MB Media Solutions will share player headshots of team players from each country competing and USA Today will provide pictures of all the training sessions and matches of the US team and select picture coverage of the rest of the matches.