It was relegated to the secondary channel, Gem, a decision the network says is consistent with its approach to cricket, but has attracted considerable criticism regardless.
Is it true that channel 9 is relegating the women’s T 20 world final to GEM? Please tell me that’s not true. It’s a WORLD CUP. !!
— Susan Alberti AC (@SusanAlberti1) March 8, 2020
Prominent champion of women in sport, and AFLW pioneer, Susan Alberti, described it as “absolutely disgraceful”.
“This is a World Cup, a world championship and our Australian women’s team is in the final,” she said. “I don’t see why that other show couldn’t be postponed and people can watch it later.
‘That other show’ Alberti refers to is the ratings bonanza, Married At First Sight.
— Danielle Warby (@DanielleWarby) March 8, 2020
The T20 World Cup final attracted a record breaking crowd, to make it the most attended women’s sporting event in Australia and for any women’s cricket match globally. Considering Australia, like many other countries, is in the midst of a health pandemic that is impacting behaviour these figures are even more astonishing.
#T20WorldCup final attendance: 86,174
🔝 The highest for a women's sporting event in Australia
🔝 The highest for a women's cricket match globally
— ICC (@ICC) March 8, 2020
This is CRAZY. We're literally going to #FILLTHEMCG and we can't get coverage on the main channel? Why does the patriarchy (of mainstream sports media) have to ruin everything, even on International Women's Day? #T20WorldCup #T20WorldCupFinal #IWD20 #IWD https://t.co/Yo8IW8oahm
— Kate O'Halloran (@Kate_ohalloran) March 8, 2020
Don’t be a global, embarrassing headline on a day that Australia makes history for all the right reasons.
There’s still time @Channel9
— Catherine Murphy (@CathMurphySport) March 8, 2020
The T20 World Cup final was more than a sporting event. On International Women’s Day it was the most welcome, tangible, manifestation of progress and the power of equality. Proof that change is possible. That just because things have always been done a certain way, that’s the way it has to be.
The tournament and final itself and the interest it generated, on screen, in real life and on social media, is further conclusive proof that when given the chance women’s sport is every bit as popular and dynamic as men’s.
On Sunday, Marina Go reflected on the fact that even a year ago the idea of the World Cup Final being held at the MCG was courageous.
The leadership and vision was vindicated when the event very nearly filled the entire MCG. (And my personal take is that had the Corona-virus not been a front of mind concern for plenty of Australians the MCG would have been fully filled.)
It’s important to reflect on the vision and courage of the leadership that has resulted in an MCG final today. A year ago, I attended the launch event at which an MCG final looked courageous. Today it looks visionary. Congratulations @KevRobertsCA @HockleyNick https://t.co/YnV99SYYxU
— Marina Go (@marinasgo) March 8, 2020
And yet, it still wasn’t enough to warrant the main channel on Nine which has been framed as a snub.
Meanwhile @FoxCricket were at every Australian game and all finals were hosted from the ground
The Blast: a cricket show dedicated to women’s cricket…
At the heart of it, it is about showing respect.
— Jessica Halloran (@JessiHalloran) March 8, 2020
Ratings out today indicate the cricket audience averaged 531,000 for the game that ran from 6pm until just after 9pm. The national cricket audience was 825,000 and an extra 341,000 were watching Fox Cricket.
I can't see how any women's sport competition in Australia can remain half-hearted about commitment & investment after a night like this. how much more evidence do you need that if you build it, people will come? #T20WorldCupFinal
— Samantha Lewis (@battledinosaur) March 8, 2020
Even a year ago, the idea of women’s sport attracting these types of numbers, to the ground itself as well as TV, may have appeared far-fetched. From now on it shouldn’t. Australia’s team last night put on an absolutely stunning and compelling display that, evidently, almost a million Australians wanted to watch. Imagine if it had been on the main station?