69.9% share: TV ratings sensation as Matildas break metro records

Records fall for Matildas 7.2m Total TV including 4.4m metro -the biggest audience since OzTAM records commenced in 2001.

The nation was glued to Seven screens last night for heartbreaking scenes as the Matildas lost to England in a 3-1 FIFA Women’s World Cup semi final.

Seven pulled a sensational 4.44m metro viewers, surpassing Saturday’s 4.17m.

It is the biggest metro audience since OzTAM ratings commenced in 2001.

Total TV numbers from OzTAM have confirmed 7.201m including 1.8m Regional with 958,000 BVOD a new record.

The biggest metro audience was Sydney at 1.42m viewers then Melbourne 1.38m and Brissy 767,000.

Seven drew a blistering 69.9% share nearly five times the size of its closest rival, Nine 12.5%, ABC 7.5%, 10 6.2% and SBS 3.9%.

Seven News also led with 880,000 / 838,000 with The Chase at 510,000 / 304,000 in 4 cities.

Nine News was best for Nine at 803,000 / 796,000 with A Current Affair at 567,000 then Hot Seat (395,000 / 240,000. Nine ran a staggered schedule in various states with The Block (175,000 in 2 cities), RBT (105,000 in 3 cities). Paramedics (103,000) and Dream Listing Byron Bay followed.

ABC News drew 472,000 then 7:30 (295,000), Gruen (215,000), Hard Quiz (193,000),  The Drum (136,000), Would I Lie to You? (98,000) and Gold Diggers (68,000).

10 News First managed 206,000 / 153,000 for 10 then The Project (204,000 / 154,000), The Bold & the Beautiful was next at 141,000 then The Dog House (110,000) and Ambulance Australia (97,000 / 61,000).

On SBS it was also tough with SBS World News (151,000 / 120,000), Michael Mosley Secrets Of The Superagers (88,000), Mastermind (68,000), How Sports Changed The World (30,000) and Wolf (TBA).

Bluey was best on multichannels at 106,000.

There was also an upset in Breakfast TV:

Today: 195,000
Sunrise: 193,000
News Breakfast: 101,000 / 45,000

In Total TV numbers last Wednesday were:

The Block: 1.22m
The Inspired Unemployed (Practical) Jokers: 630,000
Thank God You’re Here: 998,000
Gruen: 931,000
Home & Away: 900,000
Gold Diggers: 362,000

OzTAM Overnights: Wednesday 16 August 2023.


61 Responses

  1. David geniune question, I saw this article floating around. Where would they get those numbers from. It says OzTam but I believe your numbers more. Can you shed some light on it for me please??

  2. … this is interesting, in the UK, 7.3m watched the match on BBC One … to put that into perspective, the top-rating program in 2022 was the Men’s World Cup Final, England vs France, on ITV with 16.1m …

    1. Important to also note the time slot – the Men’s final aired in primetime in the UK whereas the Women’s would have been lunchtime.

  3. Thought there was a chance the Aussie primetime airing would outrate the UK daytime airing but they crushed it – BBC averaged 4.2m (Inc pre/post match) and peaked at 7.2m.

    Just shows the benefits of a home tournament.

  4. I watched five minutes of it and the sports commenters turned me off. I could not believe how biased they were towards England. If they need to biased how about showing support for Australia?!?!

  5. I hadn’t been watching any of the World Cup up until last night – has the FIFA coverage been poor throughout or was it just last night? Kerr scores a goal but we only see the back of her head in celebration. Lots of out of focus closeups. Odd cutways of players as the action continued elsewhere. I was surprised how poor it was.

  6. Am I surprised at the ratings last night. Oh hell No! All those snow flake supporters and people jumping on the band wagon.

    Then again, any time Australia plays, people will watch it regardless.

    Look at the other options last night, the other commercial channels had nothing but repeats of rubbish.

    At least the ABC had something new on last night. Hard Quiz and Gruen.

    1. Maybe some people did jump on the band wagon but I’d suggest a large proportion of the audience didn’t. They were an audience that has largely been ignored and finally had something to watch. To cast them off as snowflakes supporters is a bit of a cop out and you wonder why ratings are abysmal most of the year. Maybe it’s time the networks sat up and paid attention to the audience that is most definitely there but being forgotten.

      1. I guess youll find out how many people jumped the on bandwagon by seeing how many people watch the Matildas outside World Cup games i.e. Friendlies, Olympic Qualifying, Asian Cup

    2. I think what you call snowflakes were watching the football before you. Just not having to go to 7. …and yes, The ABC isn’t commercial, so it can run new content against a goliath TV event.

  7. I still feel for the Matildas following the loss to England last night in Sydney. Though Matildas played exceptionally well throughout the tournament and on home soil. You think carefully about TV ratings – go back to 2003 and Wallabies played against England in the RWC Final and you can see mammoth ratings on Channel 7, meaning more ratings pain against rivals Nine and 10 that night.
    After Matilda’s match against Sweden, the interest will significantly drop off. I fear that the WC Final will be fewer than 1 million metro viewers. However, 7 will still win that night.

  8. I think kudos should mainly go to Channel 7 for the extreme advertising they put into their coverage from the start. They saturated just about every show, especially Sunrise and then when The Matildas started winning more, the other channels really got into it and the rest is history. Any way you look at it, it was wonderful to see so many thousands of people having something to be happy and cheer about.

  9. The Men’s World Cup in 2026 has at the moment no Australian broadcaster yet. Surely after those ratings last night and Australia more than likely to qualify for that tournament all the FTA networks will be lining up considering a lot of the games will be screened in the daytime over here as its being held in North America.

  10. I feel for SBS who had that 3.9% share last night. They have had nearly every major FIFA tournament since around the mid 80s and missed out completely on this tournament that delivered huge ratings for 7. SBS used to get every Women’s World Cup automatically as part of the deal with buying the Men’s World Cup TV rights but FIFA decided to sell the Women’s Cup separately this time. They must be at least a little sad with missing out on those sort of ratings.

    1. Yes, this is appalling. Is it because women world cup soccer isn’t on latest 2023 sports anti-siphoning list? Ten and SBS have done way more to support Soccer than 7 in this country.

      1. Yep. Media Watch explained it – it’s not on the anti-siphoning list so Optus Sport snapped it up. Then they figured people would be mad if none of the games were on free-to-air, so they sold some games to 7, including all the Matildas games and the Grand Final.

    2. The sad reality is if it had been on SBS it wouldn’t have got those ratings. Putting it on a commercial FTA took it from niche to mainstream event.

  11. I have never watched a State of Origin, NRL or AFL final, nor any game of football, but I was one of those viewers last night. May, or may have shed a tear at the feeling of how many people came out in support.

  12. But what’s the use of an audience that big of they didn’t advertise during the game (either by pop-up or by a brief interruption in the broadcast at appropriate times)

    Yes that was a better viewing experience for sports fans, but it’s kinda the whole point of the commercial broadcasting businesses

  13. I was not one of the 4.5 m….I could not watch after the hype by the presenters/reporters on Saturday night or the hype on Seven News here in Brisbane last night which took up most of the news anyway including all the reporters from various locations including the Brisbane Show (which was a public holiday) talking to fans before the game…it was like being force feed a meal…so I watched a doco of Lynyrd Skynyd and their music on Foxtel instead.

    1. Same, the segments at the start of 7News belong later in sport, not in the main news section. Don’t get me started on sport being in the news at all, they don’t show other hobbies. I watched Gogglebox on Foxtel, then listened to a podcast.

    1. Well yes other people were watching TV that wasnt the game last night. Dont presume everyone was watching it. There was 30 per cent of the viewing audience that wasnt. I didnt watch it.

  14. I have no doubt that if they made it to the finals they would have punched past 6 million easily metro but well never know ,they done very well and look forward to the bronze 🏅 game.

  15. We watched on the 7 app and it appeared to have about a 20sec lag. We heard cheers from the neighbours house and joked wondering if they’re watching from the future and sure enough Sam Kerr scored her goal soon after. After that we would hear the screams and know an England goal was about to happen or Australia would have a close shot at goal. Overall was impressed with the app – good resolution, no buffering or issues throughout the entire game. And with that many people using it is a mighty feat.

  16. What happens to all the “viewers” of, I presume, the Seven FTA broadcast that were at the “live” sites?
    For example, the various sporting grounds around the country and so on and so forth?
    Almost all of our local & not-so-local picture theatres had at least 1 screen that you could go & watch the match on (you just had to book a free ticket).
    If these don’t get counted then surely it’s not unreasonable to double (even triple???) the reported figures.

      1. David, my question was mostly rhetorical, but it clearly shows that for some broadcast events, be it, the WWC, the AFL/NRL grand finals, etc. etc. etc. that TV ratings are total load of rubbish!!!!! And not much better for everything else.

  17. Well… there’s something to be said about the relentless narrative re dwindling FTA audiences. When a game in 2023 rivals broadcast viewer numbers from early ‘00s, it’s pretty clear there’s still a decent audience out there that will flock to live tv if commercial networks bother to program decent stuff. Pretty incredible result!

    1. A pure one off that’s not repeatable, which is what commercial networks want to generate income. Also notable that the World netball championship win by the Australian team received very little coverage in comparison. At least now there’ll be no more nonsense about a public holiday!

    2. Totally agree with you! Networks are stuck in the past with what they think the viewing audience wants. The Australian audience is very different than what it was 20, 30, 40 years ago yet they keep dishing up what worked in the olden days totally ignoring modern day audiences. These WC numbers show the audience is there, they’re just not feeding them properly!

    1. Seven were promoting in the post-match that they would be taking it (I had it on mute so I don’t know what the presenters were saying with the graphic), but it would be a late schedule change for sure – they were never scheduled to take the 3rd-place playoff and it might have only been agreed to as an “if the Matildas ended up there” scenario, leaving it to Optus Sport if not.

    2. Not on 7 if you are “bizarrely” watching some other football in the southern states. It’s on 7 in the northern states and 7mate in other states. Was promoted after last night’s game.

  18. That is a staggering result. It’s been amazing how people have embraced the Matildas.
    On another matter, surely the Women’s World Cup is now headed for the anti-siphoning list for future tournaments?

    1. How the devil the Women’s World Cup was never on anti-siphoning list in the 1st place, simply beggars belief. The finals of the Netball WC are on the ASL. That’s certainly a really bad over-sight. However, it does clearly show how poorly women’s sport has & is treated in Australia.

      1. Fair comment about not being as proactive about the list – yet I’d sort-of see that as an indictment of the treatment of the anti-siphoning list in general over the past couple of decades, and letting it wither in a sea of regulatory deadlock.

        It may cause a re-think about how it’s drafted though – all the individual sports refer to “the senior Australian representative team” while presuming that there is only one such thing (male for most, female for netball), which is certainly not the most valid assumption in 2023! Although at the moment, the push by the sports themselves to bundle women’s sports rights in “whole-of-sport” deals (like those that see Australian national women’s cricket on Seven) almost seem to have surpassed anything the list could provide.

    2. If it was added to the list like the mens it would only cover Matilda’s World Cup games plus the final which would have been 7 games. Those games have always been broadcast without being on list. In fact without being on the list Seven negotiated for 15 games including all the Matildas’, the SFs and medal games. Though they would reportedly only pay $5m for the best games, because they can’t show advertising during play, except for annoying pop-ups around the game when they think nobody is about to shoot. The favourite bid for 2027 is Germany/Holland/Belgium. Those games will be on at 2am in the morning and I doubt Seven or Nine would want them, except if we make the final.

      1. I’d love to read a piece on how Seven negotiated and got the rights to the Matildas games, over other channels, who had the most on the table etc. etc. who valued women’s football the most at the time?

      1. No not except Masterchef. It’s never had 7 million viewers. The only thing I can recall that’s beaten the Matildas result last night was Cathy Freeman’s gold medal run at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. 8 million apparently and if I’m wrong on that it must have been the Opening Ceremony or something. That’s sport. Nothing else comes close to getting the ratings live major sports events get.

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