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Sydney rocked the World Cup

THE Sydney Olympics in 2000 was hailed as the greatest Games ever staged and now FIBA - in the same week the WNBL prepares to launch is 2022-23 season - has declared its World Cup at the same venue as a record-smasher, with first crowd, now broadcast, digital and social media reaching unprecedented heights.

There were 1.1 billion impressions and 14 million engagements across global social platforms, five times more than in 2018, FIBA declared.

There were half a billion video views, seven times more compared to the previous World Cup, on social as well.

Just contemplate those numbers for a moment and be ready to trot them out the next time someone declares "no-one cares about women's sport".

That is total BS. And the facts prove it.

The @FIBAWWC social accounts quadrupled throughout 2022 and the official FIBA Women's Basketball 2022 World Cup website had 1.5 million fans visit, representing close to a 100 per cent increase.

It almost doubled the peak audience from the 2018 World Cup event in Tenerife, Spain, where the Aussie Opals claimed the Silver Medal behind the USA.

On the broadcast side, phenomenal audience growth in key markets created new benchmarks for women’s basketball.

The event reached an audience of half a million right here in Australia, the host country, while viewership tripled in the USA, despite the time zone difference, compared to 2018.

ESPN was the broadcast partner in both countries.

In China, fans were captivated by their team’s run to the final, the total audience reach of CCTV-5 and Tencent exceeding 750 million across the tournament. 

The USA-China Gold Medal Final was watched by more than 18 million viewers on CCTV-5 in China, with another 23 million video views generated on Tencent.

A whopping 145,000 spectators also meant the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 had the highest attendance ever at the competition.

"We are very happy with the tremendous success of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022," FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis (pictured) said.

"The record crowd and unprecedented figures across broadcast, digital and social media proved once again there is a global appetite for the women's game.

"In line with our strategic priority, Women in Basketball, FIBA's continued investment will ensure its commitment to taking the elite event of the international game to even greater heights.

"I would like to extend my thanks to the entire Local Organising Committee in Sydney and the FIBA team for their planning, dedication, and first-class delivery of this world-class event."

The USA won FIBA's flagship women's event, which tipped off on September 22 and closed on October 1 at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena.

It was America's fourth consecutive Gold, while China secured its first World Cup medal since 1994, not coincidentally the last time FIBA ran its World Cup in Australia, with the playoff matches all in Sydney at the late, lamented Enbtertainment Centre.

An inspirational Australia finished third by thrashing Canada for Bronze, the comeback of iconic basketball legend Lauren Jackson, who scored 30 points in her international swansong, another major reason FIBA's numbers absolutely flourished.

Jackson returns to the WNBL which tips off this week with the clash between 2022 Grand Finalists Melbourne Boomers and Perth Lynx in Perth on Wednesday.

Oct 30

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.