Matildas score massive ratings win against Ashes

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More than three times as many people tuned in to watch the Matildas’ opening match in the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Thursday night as did the first session of the Ashes fourth test.

Australia’s love affair with the Australian women’s soccer team continued, as the match with Ireland, which Australia won 1-0, drew a five-city metro audience of 1.237 million viewers on Seven, according to overnight figures released by ratings agency OzTam.

Katrina Gorry was one of the Matildas’ best players in their victory over Ireland.Credit: Reuters

That made it the most-watched program of the night by a considerable margin, watched by almost 50 per cent more viewers than the second-most-watched program of the night, Seven’s 6pm news bulletin, which drew 827,000 viewers.

Despite the fluctuating fortunes of the English and Australian teams in a scintillating Ashes series, the first session of day two of the fourth test was watched by just 546,000 viewers on Nine and Gem (the session was shown on the digital multichannel in Brisbane and Sydney, where the main channel carried the NRL match between the Tigers and the Dragons instead).

Seven claimed the Matildas match attracted an average audience of 1.97 million. It claimed a national broadcast audience of 1.74 million viewers (including regional markets), with another 196,000 watching live on BVOD platform 7plus.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup is off to a flying start,” said Lewis Martin, head of network sport and managing director of Seven Melbourne.

Martin predicted the tournament would be “the biggest global sporting event of the year, the most-attended standalone women’s sporting event in history, and a true celebration of women’s sport”.

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