The Matildas’ crushing Women’s World Cup semifinal loss to England was the most watched television show in Australia on record, data showed Thursday, as their exploits captivated the nation.
A staggering 11.5 million people tuned in at some point to Wednesday’s match in Sydney, which the Lionesses won 3-1, out of a population of around 25 million. The average audience was 7.13 million.
The country’s free-to-air host broadcaster Channel Seven said it was the most-watched programme, sport or otherwise, since the current rating system was established in 2001.
“The Matildas have rewritten the history books,” said Seven’s head of network sport Lewis Martin. “Australia was captivated last night as the Matildas played their hearts out and did us all proud.”
The data does not include those who watched on pay-TV broadcaster Optus Sport. Despite its defeat, Australia still has one match left with a third-place playoff against Sweden in Brisbane on Saturday.
England faces Spain in the final in Sydney on Sunday.
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