They’re making their way into our hearts and onto our screens, and the Aussie women’s FIFA team the Matildas is also making their way into the TV ratings’ record books.
Held every four years, the Women’s World Cup found its home for 2023 in Australia and the Aussie crowds are absolutely loving it. Adopting soccer as their sport of choice over cricket, AFL, netball and rugby, local viewers are tuning into the games by the millions.
In fact, the 7 August match between Denmark and Australia smashed the free-to-air ratings record for the year by nearly 400,000, with an estimated 2.294 million metro viewers tuning in to watch Captain Sam Kerr trot back on the field for the first time this tournament following an injury, after a two-goal thumping of Denmark. The only program that’s come close to those numbers is Nine’s State of Origin Game I in June, which didn’t even make three million metro viewers.
Matildas cement themselves in Aussie sport history
This World Cup is proving to be a shift in the market when it comes to women’s sports. Previously not a huge ratings winner, and the source of many exhausting public debates, women’s sports is seeing a change in its popularity – led by the Matildas.
Research shows that women’s sports spectators have increased by a whopping 36 percent in 12 months, from June 2022 to June 2023, and these numbers show no signs of dipping. As more Australians tune in to watch the fate of the Matildas, who are currently placed the highest of any Aussie team that has previously been in a soccer world cup, these numbers will likely only increase.
It seems the only thing female sports has been missing is the fandom and the finances because the skills, the personalities and the rivalries have already been there. Now it’s time to make legends.