760,000 Australians tuned into a W-League match on TV over the past 12 months, in the first women's football viewership figures collected by statisticians Roy Morgan.
The Roy Morgan research highlighted a rapid growth in viewership for female football, which now already stands at 40% of the total of Australian football viewership.
While average attendances in the league dropped to under 2,000 last season, television attendances rose considerably and now over a third of Australians who watch Australian domestic football watch the W-League.
This research is extremely encouraging given the relative lack of marketing for the W-League until recent times.
Both FFA's increased focus on women's football and the recent landmark free-to-air broadcast deal with the ABC, in which 14 W-League matches will be shown prime-time on Sunday afternoons, is set to increase these figures even further.
1.9 million Australians tuned into A-League matches over the same period. The statistics were collected from October 2018 to September 2019.
The report goes on to note that viewership of the W-League is higher among older age groups, with 6% of Baby Boomers and 5% of Gen X and Pre-Boomers watching it on TV, compared to only 2% of Millennials and 1% of Gen Z watching.
Roy Morgan CEO, Michelle Levine, said the increase could be attributed to the trustworthy image the public hold of the W-League.
“Roy Morgan’s TV viewership results comparing the W-League side-by-side with the A-League show there is a substantial audience for the women’s league, despite a relative lack of promotion compared to its male counterpart," Levine said.
"TV viewership of the W-League of 760,000 is around 40% of the viewership of the A-League at 1.9 million.
“Along with the Matildas’ success, a key driver of this increasing interest in Women’s Sport, and Women’s Football in particular, is the very positive and trustworthy image Australians have of it.
“Women’s Sport rates consistently higher than men’s sport on Roy Morgan’s Net Trust Score. Survey respondents consider Women’s Football has a ‘good reputation’, ‘few scandals’, ‘genuine people running it’, ‘very respectful and professional’ and that women’s footballers are ‘not full of themselves’, ‘have good on and off field behaviour’, ‘believe in fair play’ and are ‘inclusive and powerful role models’.”