Wesley Botton

Compiled by Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Record figures confirmed as interest in SA20 league continues to soar

In its second season the league grew in terms of viewership, social media engagement and attendance numbers.

With increased coverage and record attendances, backed by memorable performances on the pitch, the success of this year’s SA20 league has been confirmed in the statistics released by organisers on Thursday

The second season of the popular annual T20 league, held between six IPL-owned franchise teams in January and February, reflected growth across the board.

Bucking the trend of domestic cricket matches in recent years, fans flocked to the stadiums, with 10 of 34 games sold out (including the final) and a total of 70% of tickets sold during the season.

SA20 fans
Spectators filled stadiums during the SA20 season. Picture: SA20

And the turnout was no surprise, with the Sunrisers Eastern Cape retaining the trophy at the end of a campaign which saw four centuries, 49 half-centuries and 454 sixes with the bat, as well three five-wicket hauls with the ball, and 10 thrilling matches which came down to the final over.

Spectators also got in on the act, with eight people sharing the R2 million prize in the Betway Catch competition, which was split between fans at the grounds who took a one-handed catch.

Increased viewership

Global viewership across nine broadcasters – including India, the UK, the US and Australia – increased by 21%, and locally on SuperSport the league recorded a 24% increase in viewership, with an audience that included 46% women.

The social media following for the league more than doubled, according to organisers, and global media coverage generated a PR value of R4 billion.

In addition, as part of the league’s commitment to social impact, R900,000 was raised for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa to support community development initiatives.

Continued growth

“We are proud to celebrate the success of season two of the Betway SA20. The continued growth in our viewership, following, engagement and attendance numbers reflects growing interest for both the product and the excellent cricket that was showcased this past season,” said league commissioner Graeme Smith.

“We once again thank all the fans, players, partners and broadcasters, franchises and stakeholders for their support which led to another successful season.”

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