It’s pretty safe to say that women’s sport in Australia has been kicking goals of late.
We don’t mean to brag, but not only did the Matildas take out Denmark in fine form in Monday’s match, but the 6.54 million people tuning into Monday’s game smashed the record for an individual event on Channel Seven this year.
It was watched by even more people than last year’s NRL and AFL grand finals.
The Matildas’ performances and viewer rates so far throughout the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has led Football Australia to hail the tournament as ‘the most successful in history’.
“This Women’s World Cup has been a milestone for Football Australia and for women’s football in our country. We are overwhelmed with the profound impact of the tournament so far,” Football Australia chief executive James Johnson told the Guardian.
“Today, football is at the centre of every city and town across the country, attendance records have been set in Australia with an average of over 30,000 for each match, and new broadcast records being set.
“Australia can prepare for an unprecedented football spectacle.”
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has been feverishly (and hilariously, if we may) covered by news/media company and viral Instagram channel CheekMedia.Co, with co-founder Hannah Ferguson eloquently summarising the viewership surrounding the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup featuring 33 teams jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand:
“To those who say women’s sport just doesn’t have the same interest or revenue potential: numbers don’t lie.”
And, quite frankly, neither do ours.
While record numbers of Australians of all ages tune into the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, our latest Year13 & Visa PlayOn sport survey, which was conducted in April before the tournament kicked off last month, speaks volumes.
A quarter (26%) of young females aged 13-23 in Australia told us they actually watch women’s sport regularly (while young males aged 13-23 admittedly lag behind at just 11%). A further 26% of young females told us they watch women’s sport sometimes, while 26% said they rarely watch it and 23% said they never watch women’s sport.
Meanwhile, 40% of teenage girls and young women said they have a female sports star they look up to (we have a feeling that number may have risen throughout this 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup). Teenage boys and young men also lag behind in this respect at 24%, however 1 in 4 males having a female sports star they look up to might be more than many think and a great platform to build on going forward.
However a staggering 83% of young females said women’s sport doesn’t have enough coverage in the news, with 59% of young males sharing this view.
(This all makes us think CheekMedia.Co might be onto something here.)
The question is, will one of the biggest international sporting tournaments that’s ever been held in Australia fade into the shadows when the final whistle blows?
Or will it serve as a catalyst for a future where women’s sport gets more airtime and attention?
When we repeat our survey next year we’ll have the answer.