Ministry of Sport

Total Cricket Viewership Declines, But Women’s Cricket Has Bright Future

Australian market research company, Roy Morgan, has released new figures showing that over 7.2 million Australians, equivalent to 35% of the Australian population aged 14 or older, watch at least one form of Cricket on TV, with Women’s cricket set to have a big future in the country.

Although this is undoubtedly an impressive number it does represent a decline of almost 340,000 TV Cricket viewers since March 2015 when Australia hosted and won, the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

The number of Australians playing Cricket is also down 22.3%, with numbers now at 974,000.

Men’s Test Cricket has been the proven favourite, watched by over 5.8 million Australians in the year to March 2019 just ahead of Men’s One-Day International Cricket watched by 5.75 million.

Almost 5.2 million Australians now watch Twenty20 Cricket which includes Twenty20 Internationals and also the hugely successful Twenty20 Big Bash League.

More than 2.8 million Australians are already watching Women’s Cricket, which includes viewership of Women’s Test matches, Women’s One-Day Internationals, Women’s International Twenty20 and the Women’s Big Bash League.

Roy Morgan began measuring viewership of Women’s Cricket separately in January 2019 and we can report that there are already more than 2.8 million Australians who watch Women’s Cricket. This includes viewership of Women’s Test matches, Women’s One-Day Internationals, Women’s International Twenty20 and the Women’s Big Bash League.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says over 5.7 million Australians will be closely watching the fortunes of the Australian Cricket team at the Cricket World Cup in England on Foxtel, Kayo Sports and the Nine Network as they defend their title won in 2015:

“Cricket is big business in Australia with over 7.2 million Australians watching one form of Cricket or another including over 5.7 million that watch Men’s One-Day International (ODI) Cricket,” Levine said.

“The Cricket World Cup which began late last week, is the pinnacle of ODI Cricket and Australia got off to a winning start with a 7 wicket victory over Afghanistan on the weekend.

“Earlier in 2019 Roy Morgan began measuring viewership of Women’s Cricket separately and the first results show that there is a big future for Women’s Cricket with proper promotion and marketing.

“The huge audience for Women’s Cricket is set to grow over the next year with Australia hosting the Twenty20 World Cup early next year with the final set down for the MCG in early March 2020.

“There are clearly significant opportunities for businesses looking to get involved with a team with a strong history in the tournament, as Australia has won four out of the first six Women’s Twenty20 World Cups and will enter next year’s tournament as the defending champion,” he said.

“At present men comprise a majority of 63% of TV Viewers of Cricket numbering over 4.5 million compared to just over 2.6 million women who watch Cricket on TV.

“The newfound popularity of Women’s Cricket revealed by Roy Morgan’s analysis shows the sport should be targeting a significant increase in viewership over the next few years as increasing numbers of women take an interest in a sport that has traditionally appealed to Australian men.”

A closer analysis of monthly figures reveals Cricket participation bottomed in the latter half of 2018 in the wake of the ‘ball-tampering’ scandal and has since increased participation levels during the past six months.

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney