Channel Seven make big decision on Matildas’ World Cup match against France in a first for women’s sport in Australia
- Seven have made a big change in programming.
- Move is a first for women’s football in Australia
- Matildas kicks off against France on Saturday at 5pm AEST
As the Matildas prepare to face France in the Women’s World Cup quarter-final, Channel Seven have made the big decision to push back the 6pm news bulletin to show the action without interruption.
Australia is really on the Matildas bandwagon after TV ratings confirmed that the soccer team is a huge hit across the country.
More than 3.5 million people watched the Australian team’s 2-0 win over Denmark on Monday night on Channel Seven, with 3.18 million watching television and 385,000 on streaming service 7Plus.
It was the highest viewership for any TV show this year, surpassing the AFL, NRL and the big reality shows.
All eyes will be on Tony Gustavsson’s side when they take on France at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday with a possible home semi-final place at stake.
Channel 7 has made the extraordinary decision to postpone the nightly newscast at 6:00 p.m. for the broadcast of the Matildas vs. France match
Television ratings for Matildas matches during the World Cup have been huge
In a first for women’s football in Australia, Channel 7 made the decision to delay the news broadcast to at least 7:00pm on its main channel in order to broadcast the full match, which starts at 5:00pm.
Seven also increased their pre-match coverage for the momentous occasion from 30 minutes to an hour.
Delaying the 6pm news for a sporting event is something that happens very rarely, but it’s unprecedented.
It happened when Steve Waugh scored his iconic last ball at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2003, and also when Michael Clarke led the Australians to a shock victory over India in 2008.
However, it is the first time the change has been made to accommodate a women’s sporting event.
The decision has caused some disruption to the network, as coverage of the AFL on Saturday night has been moved to 7:30pm.
Channel 7 AFL commentator Georgie Parker took to social media to express her surprise at the decision.
“Before the World Cup, I was wondering if Seven would put Matilda on the main AFL channel,” he posted.
‘Well, Seven just said they’re putting Matilda’s on the main channel, delaying THE NEWS. Without precedents.
The 6:00 p.m. news bulletin rarely moves, and never before at a women’s soccer game.
The historic game in Sevens will kick off at 5pm on Saturday night.
‘The news is the anchor of every chain. Enormous.’
Sevens coverage of the tournament has now reached a whopping 9.25 million on TV and 1.67 million on 7Plus.
The Australian team’s next match on Saturday night may well topple Ash Barty’s monster ratings when she won the Australian Open women’s singles title in 2022.