It is entirely possible that Wednesday night’s FIFA Women’s World Cup semi final between Australia and England in Sydney might break a sport viewing record, but how many of us would listen to it on radio?
The viewing record is held by Cathy Freeman and her gold medal winning 400 metres run at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. They think nearly nine million watched that moment, as data wasn’t being tracked at that point. That also doesn’t include the many thousands watching events unfold in the Olympic Stadium.
The Matildas Vs France quarter final on Sat night was the biggest night on TV for the year for the Seven Network. More than four million of us turned it on (with more figures to come from Optus) which doesn’t factor in how many of us were watching in large groups on a big screen somewhere. And, because the penalty shootout ran so late, I and three million other Australians stayed on for Seven News and a recap.
It is speculated that Optus sold the rights for Seven to broadcast the Matilda’s matches free to air for around $5 million. Considering that Nine, according to the AFR (subscription required), paid $650 million for a five year deal with the NRL, I can’t help but feel after last weekend that Seven’s purchase is now the equivalent of picking up a Jackson Pollock print at the op-shop for $10.
I am an avid sports consumer; live, online, on TV or via subscriptions like Foxtel and Kayo.
And radio. Particularly NRL and cricket in the car or while I’m doing chores.
Last week SEN announced that they would broadcast free every Tottenham Hotspur match of the EPL season to celebrate Ange Postecoglou.
A tiny little note down the bottom of that release was that SEN, the Sports Entertainment Network, would also be broadcasting free to air all the FIFA Women’s World Cup games.
I see today that there is a piece in The Australian (subscription required) from SEN founder Craig Hutchison around the company’s share price hitting an all-time low and the stock market not understanding the value of SEN’s products.
Saturday night’s game was the most exciting sporting event I can recall in a long, long time and yet SEN Victoria’s front page doesn’t mention it, or the up coming semi.
They have published this piece, and about how the Carlton and Melbourne AFL match was delayed by five minutes to allow for the end of the Matilda’s quarterfinal in regular time, not realising that there was still going to be about an hour’s more exhilarating football played in Brisbane that night.
But what SEN hasn’t done, yet, is ask us to come along for the Matilda ride via radio too. And with at least one more game to play (GO MATILDAS!!) I think SEN has kicked an own goal on this one.