Westfield Matildas’ TV ratings surge

The Westfield Matildas are on the brink of Rio Olympics qualification and Australian football fans are flocking to watch Alen Stajcic’s side on Channel 7.

Seven West Media are broadcasting the Matildas’ matches live on their digital channel 7mate. 

And the popularity of the women’s national side has been reflected with some impressive viewing numbers.

Matildas v DPR Korea

The Matildas' opening match against Japan last Monday attracted an average 168,000 viewers across metropolitan and regional areas, peaking at 313,000, reported the Australian Financial Review (www.afr.com). 

The match helped drive a 34 per cent ratings increase on 7mate from the previous four Mondays.

Wednesday’s clash with Vietnam averaged 159,000 - doubling its audience in Sydney - and a peak of 316,000.

Back-to-back wins helped boost numbers even further for the Friday night match against Korea Republic, with an average of 194,000 viewers tuning in, peaking at 373,000.

The Westfield Matildas celebrate opening the scoring against Korea Republic.

Seven West Media Chief Executive Tim Worner believed the Matildas broadcast would be popular amongst Australian audiences, especially given the quality of the football on offer.

“Wherever there is competitive sport aligned with our country or with strong clubs, as we're seeing in AFL, we believe fans will get behind it and support them," he told John Stensholt of the Financial Review (www.afr.com). 

"Particularly when we're seeing a high level of skill and standards as we've seen. So when the audience has an interest in it we'll bring it to them."

Australia – attempting to reach the Olympics for the first time since 2004 – are on track to qualify for Rio after three consecutive wins to start their Olympic qualification tournament in Osaka.

Tonight, a win or a draw against DPR Korea would confirm qualification. 

See the game live on 7mate from 9.30pm (eastern) with commentary from Matildas great Melissa "Bubs" Barbieri and Brenton Speed.