Matildas fans are livid as Channel Seven brings World Cup clash with Sweden to secondary channel
FIFA World Cup broadcaster Channel 7 has been criticized for prioritizing St Kilda in the AFL and Border Patrol over the Matildas in their bid for the bronze medal against Sweden.
Fans were furious to find out Channel 7 had relegated the highly anticipated Matildas’ FIFA World Cup final match at home to a secondary channel.
The spotlight was on the Matildas as they took on Sweden in a quest for both pride and a coveted bronze medal.
Hoping to end the tournament on a triumphant note, the Australian women’s soccer team drew record viewership for the free-to-air channel Channel 7.
The quarter-final match against France shattered Australian TV audience records, only to be eclipsed by a staggering 11 million viewers who watched the heartbreaking semi-final loss to England.
Matildas fans hoping to watch the third-place play-off had to find the game on digital TV as Channel 7 favored Border Patrol and the AFL
Given the viewership of almost half the country and its distinction as the most-watched Australian television program this century, Channel 7’s decision to relegate the Matildas to a secondary platform for the playoffs of third place was a baffling decision.
It was particularly confusing after the broadcaster rescheduled the evening news to prioritize the quarter-final against France on its main channel.
Viewers were left baffled, scrolling through the channels in disbelief as the Matildas ended up on 7Mate while programs like Border Security took over Channel 7.
Although not the result Aussie was hoping for, the Matildas ended their FIFA Women’s World Cup with the best result ever.
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Adding to the astonishment, even after the program ended, Channel 7 aired its evening news at 6pm in Melbourne and highlighted the AFL game between Geelong and St Kilda at 7pm.
The move goes against the widespread support and viewership garnered by the Matildas over the past month and fans have been furious.
“Channel 7 in bad shape to relegate The Matildas to a digital channel,” one fan fumed.
“Ashamed it’s not streaming for free in Melbourne,” posted another.
‘How bad is it? Channel 7 does not have the #Matildas on our HDTVs. They have it on 7mate,” another complained.