The Matildas vs England match was 'the most watched TV programme' in Australia since records began
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The Matildas made history when they faced England's Lionesses in the Women's World Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.
And they've just made history again.
The match has become the most watched television program - sport or otherwise - in Australia since the current ratings system began in 2001.
The match reached 11.15 million Australians nationally.
The average audience was sitting around 7.13 million throughout the game, which includes a national broadcast audience of 6.17 million on terrestrial television, and another 957,000 on the streaming service 7Plus, according to OzTam ratings and Channel Seven.
The game peaked at 6.9 million viewers on broadcast, working out to be 89.8 per cent of commercial television.
That means nine out 10 Australians watching commercial television last night were watching the match.
In a statement, Seven Melbourne’s Managing Director and Head of Network Sport Lewis Martin said the Matildas have 'captivated' the nation.
“Australia was captivated last night as the Matildas played their hearts out and did us all proud,” he said.
He continued: “Although their FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 journey ended last night, the Matildas have re-written the history books and captured the hearts and minds of the nation with a performance that is sure to inspire generations of Australians for many years to come.
“The Matildas’ performance captured the Australian spirit like nothing we have seen in decades.”
The huge ratings even surpassed some of the biggest sporting moments in Australian television history, including Lleyton Hewitt’s 2005 Australian Open final loss, the Wallabies’ 2003 Rugby World Cup final loss, and Ash Barty’s 2022 Australian Open victory.
On Optus Sport, the match was the fourth-highest rating program ever, just coming in behind the Matildas’ weekend match against France.
Optus head of content Clive Dickens told The Guardian he expects huge numbers again for the third-place match on Saturday.
“People will just want to celebrate what has been an incredible tournament,” he said.
He also said the company want to maintain the momentum around women's sport.
“It’s a really simple message: support your team whether it’s here in Australia as a member, here in Australia [watching the A-League Women] on Paramount Plus, or if you want to watch 10 of the amazing Matildas including Sam Kerr for Chelsea, subscribe to Optus Sport for the English Women’s Super League," he said.