Women’s football in Australia has gone through a dramatic change over the last 12 months, and the success of the Matildas has not only allowed for the game to grow but to become a regular topic of discussion.
In 2017, women’s football in Australia saw sell out crowds in Newcastle and Penrith as the Matildas jumped to number four in the FIFA rankings.
Locally, Melbourne City became the first team in Australian football history to win three consecutive Championships and support for the W-League grew in numbers with a 52 percent increase in attendance at matches during the 2017/18 season.
Across the board women’s football is growing in popularity but supporters of the game continue to be left frustrated and confused about the game and where it is headed.
Totally agree you can’t say the popularity is not there. This is part of the issue with the FFA, boys club and not interested in the expansion and marketing of the game and women’s football.— Jason Scott (@ScottfourScott) December 4, 2017
It’s immensely frustrating that despite an established, excellent, growing competition, and despite anecdotal support from our community that “we’re so far ahead in women’s sport” the W-League still can’t get numbers in ground or on TV that it deserves. 😠— Stuart Randall (@SJR1978) February 19, 2018
Maybe some more Fed funding towards women’s football would be great Greg 👌🏽— Expand the A-League (@ExpandALeague) November 23, 2017
“I’m also pretty sure there are no chairs or CEOs of A-League clubs who are women, even though most of these clubs run W-League clubs as well." https://t.co/ReVENTFY2g— Marissa Lordanic 🤷♀️ (@marissalordanic) February 20, 2018
Not sure on TV rights, I presume if anything Fox would.— Tim (@TimothyJ_23) February 2, 2018
For W-League - tv rights sit with FFA. If they've negotiated a piss-poor deal with broadcasters I don't think that's Fox or ABC's fault.
Hopefully the next deal means all games are broadcast
So this Female Football Week, The Women’s Game spoke with FFA’s Head of Women’s Football, Emma Highwood to discuss the issues affecting the W-League and Matildas.
One of the main issues during the most recent W-League season was broadcasting.
Fans were unhappy when there was no broadcast of the game between Perth Glory and Canberra United where Sam Kerr scored a first-half hat-trick. There were also weeks where there were simply no W-League matches on Fox Sports or SBS Viceland.
However, with all these issues, this season still saw a jump from 17 televised games to 27 including full broadcast of the finals series plus extra streaming services on selected games for Fox Sports customers.
Fans overseas could also enjoy the W-League with a new streaming service and while it sometimes didn’t work, it looked to be a step in the right direction.