The Hundred has proved a hit among new and existing cricket fans – with a total of 16.1 million people watching some of the action on TV alone, according to figures published by the ECB (English Cricket Board).
A sell-out crowd at Lord’s on August 20th and 21st saw Oval Invincibles being crowned the first women’s The Hundred champions and Southern Brave taking the men’s title. The competition has already proven itself to be drawing in new supporters to cricket; of those watching the action on Sky or the BBC, 57 per cent hadn’t watched any other live ECB cricket in 2021.
Viewing of the showpiece finals day peaked at 1.4 million for the women’s game, with the men’s game drawing a peak crowd of 2.4 million.
Meanwhile, 510,000 tickets were sold and issued for the competition, with grounds across the country posting sell-outs and 19 per cent of all tickets sold being for children. Analysis shows that 55 per cent of ticket buyers for The Hundred had not bought a ticket for cricket in this country previously.
The opening match was the most watched women’s cricket match (across both international and domestic) in the UK on record, and two thirds of those aware of The Hundred think it is equally for men and women – higher than rugby union (36 per cent), football (50 per cent) and other forms of cricket (50 per cent).
Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Hundred is all about throwing cricket’s doors open – and we’ve seen in year one how it’s already delivering. It’s provided outstanding entertainment for new and existing fans alike, unearthed new cricketing heroes, and it’s been fantastic to see so many children and families enjoying the action. It’s also changed the game for women’s cricket, smashing record after record and creating role models for girls and boys to be inspired by. We need to grow cricket, reach more people and inspire more children to pick up a bat and ball – and that’s exactly what The Hundred does. If we’ve got more people playing the game, we have more county and Test stars of the future. That’s why we need to build on the success of this year and come back even better in 2022. The Hundred couldn’t have been the success it has been this year without the incredible support of Sky and the BBC, our commercial partners, the host venues, the wider cricket network and so many more people, and we’re grateful to all of them.”
As well as people attending matches and watching on TV, reaching people digitally is vital in engaging young people. We’ve seen more than 34.3 millio video views and 264,000 downloads of The Hundred app.
The Hundred also provides an important new revenue stream for cricket, supporting investment in the domestic men’s and women’ game and grassroots cricket. The ECB is on course to hit our projections for revenue of around £50 million – giving a surplus of £10 million to invest back into cricket.
Bryan Henderson, Director of Cricket for Sky Sports, said: “At Sky, we are so proud of the role we have played in The Hundred, not just in terms of broadcasting and bringing the games to life for our viewers, but also our involvement in the development of the competition from day one through our partnership with the ECB. When we set out on this adventure with the ECB and the BBC, we knew the success of The Hundred would be measured by how much fans enjoyed and engaged with it and ultimately how many young people were inspired to pick up a bat and a ball. Today we can see this competition has already done so much for the sport. It has been a pleasure to watch it unfold and we very much look forward to planning year two.”
Executive Producer, BBC Cricket, Stephen Lyle, added: “We are thrilled that so many tuned into our extensive TV, radio and online coverage of this brand new, innovative competition. Along with the ECB and Sky, it has been a pleasure to showcase the skill, drama, sights and sounds of The Hundred to fans and new audiences this summer. We are already looking forward to 2022.”