The Matildas have officially become Australia’s most watched women’s sporting side, with a peak audience of 2.32 million viewers tuning in for their latest match, an Olympic semi-final against Sweden.
The match, which was played on Monday night and broadcast on Channel 7 in Australia, was the most-watched women’s team sport event in Australian television history. Despite a heart-breaking 1-0 loss against Sweden, the number of Australians tuning in to watch our national football team is testament to their entertaining and galvanising Olympic journey.
Monday’s #Tokyo2020 SF between @TheMatildas & Sweden is now the most watched women’s team sport match in Australian TV history.— Football Australia (@FootballAUS) August 3, 2021
It smashed the record number of 1.46 million from our group stage match v Sweden.
Source: OzTam broadcast figures derived from Olympic programming pic.twitter.com/Yqk2fPejYk
Captain Sam Kerr, one of Australia’s most recognisable faces in sport, has had adoring fans excited to follow her every move, while other members of the team including (but not limited to) Ellie Carpenter, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy, Tegan Micah and youngster Mary Fowler have had viewers on the edge of their seat. These women are the reason the Matildas have consistently ranked highly among teams that sports fans feel most emotionally connected to.
The record-breaking tv viewership on Monday follows a record the Matildas set just days before, when 2.27 million viewers watched their thrilling preliminary final win against Great Britain.
Matildas defender Ellie Carpenter told Sunrise this week that the support from Australia has been felt by the team in Tokyo, and they are excited to have such a high level of support from the public.
“Thank you Australia for all your support,” she said. “We know that you’re with us. We are so excited. Continue the support because we’ll need it.
“We know we have a shot at an Olympic medal tomorrow and we’re all focused and can’t wait to go out there and create some history.”
“We can’t wait to get out there to create some history”@TheMatildas Defender Ellie Carpenter says the team will bounce back from their semi-final loss to battle USA for a #bronze medal.#Tokyo2020 @7Olympics pic.twitter.com/2pwqsFitvV— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) August 3, 2021
The Matildas face off against the USA tonight at 6pm, playing for the bronze medal. If Australia wins, it will be the first time an Australian football team, male or female, has ever won a medal at the Olympics.
To date, the team has gone further than any Australian football team ever, a history-making achievement in itself.
Sam Kerr has nothing but praise for her team, which despite having spent very limited time together in the two years leading up to the Olympics, has managed to be competitive with the best in the world.
“I haven’t seen some of these girls for two years and then we come out here and we play against teams who have been playing together for so long,” she said after the semi-final.
“I can’t explain how proud I am to be a part of this team and to lead this team out. Every day they surprise me.
“We feel the love from home and we’re doing everything we can to make you proud. I hope you all felt it today, so let’s go the mighty Aussies.”
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