A massive win for women’s sport.
We could be seeing a lot more women’s football on live TV soon, judging by this weekend’s ratings.
The first live broadcast of a women’s AFL game on Sunday was a massive success, drawing more viewers than the Adelaide v Essendon men’s AFL game on Saturday.
The women’s game between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs had an average audience in Melbourne of 175,000, compared to the 114,000 people who watched Essendon’s thrashing.
Seven Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin said the number of viewers of the women’s game – which peaked at 501,000 and averaged 301,000 nationally – meant there could be more shown next season, Fairfax Media reports.
“We were happy to play a role in this historic first and are rapt with the ratings and for all of those who made it possible,” Mr Martin said.
There was some disappointment among supporters after the hotly-contested game was shortened by 90 seconds in the final quarter to ensure the men’s teams could start their match on time.
In a previous interview with Mamamia, Western Bulldogs captain Steph Chiocci said the women would love to have a national league by 2017.
“We’re really pleased that Channel Seven are on board. It comes back down to exposure, and we want people to take note of our sport because we love it as much as the boys do and we play just as hard,” Chiocci said.
“If more people see us play and see us in action that’s a good starting point for us. In the future we hope to have a national league. Hopefully more people will tune in and that will help us to get there.”
The win for women’s sport came in the same week the Opal’s qualified for the Rio Olympics, the Diamonds won the Netball World Cup AND the Southern Stars edged closer to winning the Ashes.
There are currently 195,000 female participants in AFL.