The data economics of Matildas Mania
Welcome to Tuesdata, our weekly analysis for Unmade’s paying members.
Below, we examine the numbers behind the cultural phenomenon of the rise of the Matildas.
Further down, the Seven West Media share price hits its lowest point since the height of Covid, while Enero also has a rough day.
The content of the full post is available only to Unmade’s paying members. That could be you. Not only can you see today’s members-only edition of Tuesdata, but you get access to the full Unmade archive, which goes behind a paywall two months after publishing.
Unmade members also get $108 off earlybird tickets to our retail media conference RE:Made which returns in October. The earlybird deadline ends next week. The discount code is beneath the paywall.
Ratings record breaking with the Matildas
Seja Al Zaidi writes:
There hasn’t been a public phenomenon quite like the Matildas for a very long time. Australia’s shared cultural moment has been a month-long ratings bonanza for Seven, vindicated the investments of long term sponsors including CommBank and Qantas and has changed the commercial trajectory of Football Australia.
The numbers have been extraordinary. The Matildas’ semi final clash with England became the top-rated program in the history of Australian television. Below, we examine various data sets, including social sentiment via Meltwater, brand sentiment via Tracksuit and audience numbers via OzTam and Deakin University research.
Across the month, the tournament reached an estimated 18.6m free to air viewers watching at home. That’s despite most games that did not involve Australia being behind the paywall of streaming service Optus.
The most remarkable numbers came from last Wednesday night’s semi final between Australia and England. It averaged 7.2 million viewers for Seven, across metro and regional broadcast viewing, along with streaming via 7plus. Overall reach was even higher, with the ratings system registering 11.15m viewer seeing at least part of the game.
That compares to an average audience of 976,000 viewers for the final of the men’s version of the Qatar World Cup on SBS back in 2022.
But the real viewing number is likely to be much higher - the panel-based ratings system only calculated viewing at home, not in hospitality venues or public viewing areas. And Optus did not share the number of people viewing via its app.
Research conducted by Deakin University’s Dr Hunter Fujak estimated the reach of the England game across Channel 7, Optus Sport, venues and live sites was 17.15 million people. That represents approximately 64% of the entire Australian population.
Fujak’s estimate was based on asking a sample of 1564 respondents across Deakin’s alumni network how they had watched the match, and extrapolating the numbers based on the proportion who would not have been recorded via the traditional ratings system.
He predicts that on top of the 11.15m people watching via the Channel 7 telecast, a further 3.01m watched at a hospitality venue, 1.74m streamed via Optus Sport and 1.25m attended various national live sites.
It has become increasingly clear that viewing numbers beat those of the Olympics, when Australia’s entire population was only just over 19m. Until now, Cathy Freeman's Olympic sprint in 2000 was believed to have been the most watched TV moment of all time.
How Unmade previewed the event last month:
According to Fujak: “The 17.15m viewers of the Matildas semi-final is without doubt the most viewed event in Australian history.”
The out-of-norm impact on viewing patterns is demonstrated by the chart of metro viewing so far this year, with Seven pulling in an astonishing 56.5% commercial share of last week’s metro viewing.