There were some hidden firsts hidden in the flood of male sports coverage over the weekend. The first cricket game on Seven in its new broadcast contract did very well on Saturday evening, while the next day the first ever women’s NRL final on Nine also rated strongly.
Thanks to clever programming by Seven, Saturday night’s T20 match between Australia and New Zealand latched on to the viewers hanging around from the AFL grand final audience. As a result, an average of 609,000 watched across the country (that’s both innings) with 640,000 watching the Australian run chase.
Seven has said this is the highest ever audience for a women’s cricket broadcast in Australia. Nearly 400,000 (398,000) watched in the metros. Interestingly, Foxtel simulcast the same and it was only watched by 21,000 people.
The second match on Monday in Brisbane was watched by an less impressive 113,000 with 74,000 metro viewers. The reason for the drop? Different lead-ins between the two nights (none really yesterday), and the fact that it was not a public holiday in all states. Again Foxtel’s audience was negligible — just 18,000.
On Sunday, 461,000 people watched the Broncos beat the Roosters in the first ever NRLW grand final on Nine. That’s a record for the NRL competition, though the first AFLW final was watched by 896,000 people in 2017. The 2018 grand final was watched by 671,000 people.