The approval of the public in the stadiums, the professionalization of women’s soccer, the distribution of content on digital platforms and the interest of sponsors allow the Liga MX Femenil to increase its audience numbers each season. The league published that 4.8 million people watched the Apertura 2021 tournament, an increase of 300,000 people from a previous semester and 800,000 when taking into account the previous year.
According to data provided by Nielsen IBOPE to El Economista, 162,830 people watched an average of at least one minute of the regular phase of the Shout Mexico AP21, that is, 33,260 more than those who saw the previous tournament.
This audience increases during the Liguilla phase: 356,540 people on average tuned in for at least one minute of the qualifying phase of Grita México AP21; a tournament earlier, this figure was 286,600 spectators.
The matches that attracted the most attention in the Apertura 2021 tournament were the classics. The meeting between Guadalajara and Atlas from day eight was the most tuned in with 410,520 people according to the same parameters, followed by América-Tigres from day 16 (393,190) and América-Pumas from day eight (382,500).
In an interview with this newspaper, Gabriela Batocletti, soccer analyst for Tigres Femenil broadcasts, indicated that among the elements that make audiences grow is the show offered by soccer players and that it is a league that respects fair play, so which there are no match interruptions.
Regarding the ‘fair play’ classification, the Apertura 2021 tournament in the women’s branch presented 35% fewer yellow cards than the men’s First Division and 61% fewer red cards. However, data presented by the president of Liga MX, Mikel Arriola, showed that the women’s competition is the one with the least effective game time in the past tournament among the three most important competitions in the circuit (Liga MX, Liga MX Femenil, Liga MX Expansión) with 48 minutes and 59 seconds.
“Because of the respect they have for soccer and their profession and definitely because many of the clubs have promoted the transmission of the matches, either by streaming, by Facebook, because of the club’s application and some television stations that now have this offer of women’s matches,” argued Batocletti, who also shared that the Facebook broadcasts of tigers they reach over 15,000 spectators per match.
The middle ESPN pointed out that the last Royal Final between Tigres and Rayadas set an audience record on the Facebook Live broadcast, exceeding 143,000 views through the Liga MX Femenil page. This figure tripled the previous mark of 46,000 views on the university team’s social network, set between both institutions at Guard1anes 2020.
─ What commercial benefits are being observed from the increase in audience?
“The teams already have independent sponsors of the first (men’s), such as Tigres, which right now has Instagram, Atlas has Always, Rayadas too (it has its own sponsors). The very work they’ve done allows sponsors to look back to see that the league is growing and that they deserve their support. We as a brand have to be there because every day the hobby that is following them grows and grows, not only nationally, but also internationally. In the broadcasts, many people tell us that the game with the sponsors is interrupted a lot, but we defend that the team depends on them to pay for the broadcast,” Batocletti said.
During the broadcasts of Tigres on Facebook Live, the headlines of its sponsors (HEB, Viva Aerobus, Adidas, Afirme, Pinturas Berel, Cemex Go, Hospital Christus Muguerza, Coca-Cola and Powerade) are shown, commercials and talents make advertising mentions .
The Tigres club is also a pioneer in the transmissions of the new U-17 tournament of the women’s branch, they started with them over the weekend during day four of the recently created tournament.
“Throughout the last tournament, which was friendly for them, people were asking us why we didn’t broadcast them. This Tigres tournament raised its hand and begins with the broadcasts of the smallest. For them it is a window, so that they can be seen and have more opportunities in the First Division, in high schools, universities and outside the country,” said the sports journalist.
─ Who watches women’s soccer?
Data provided by Televisa Deportes to this newspaper in December 2020 indicated that the profile of the Liga MX Femenil fans on pay television was made up of 75% men 30 years of age and older, while on digital platforms they reached an audience younger between 18 and 27 years, also in a similar proportion of men. Nielsen added that the predominant socioeconomic level in Apertura 2021 was A/B and C+ at 43.6%.