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Matildas match sparks ratings bonanza as public holiday push gathers pace

Seven claimed the highest-rating program of the year on Monday night, with the network saying it reached 6.54 million people tuned in on Seven and 7plus to watch the Matildas reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

And as the Matildas’ World Cup march gathers pace, so does the push for a public holiday celebrating their success should they eventually raise the trophy.

Captain Sam Kerr returned on Monday night to lead Australia to a 2-0 win over Denmark in front of over 75,000 fans at Sydney’s Stadium Australia, sending the team into the quarter finals.

The knockout match attracted a larger audience than last year’s AFL Grand Final or the rugby league State of Origin series and represents another landmark for women’s sport in Australia.

The average audience during Monday night’s game was 3.56 million across Australia, with a broadcast audience of 3.18 million.

Some 384,000 more viewers tuned in on 7plus, which the network claims is a record for an individual event on the streaming channel.

The Matildas effect is bolstering already strong ratings for Seven’s local news, which attracted 136,000 viewers at 6pm last night – more than double the figure registered by its nearest rival, Nine.

Holiday time

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Monday said that while public holidays are a decision for the various states and territories, he pledged to raise the possibility of a day to celebrate a Matilda’s World Cup at National Cabinet.

I reckon if they get through on Saturday, it’ll be on the agenda. It’ll be on the agenda for sure,” Mr Albanese told Triple M radio.

“It’d be a pretty brave Australian state leader, wouldn’t it, who said said no to that,” the Prime Minister added. 

At lease one state leader gave his support to the idea on Tuesday, with New South Wales Premier Chris Minns telling 2GB radio he was on board.

“We’d love to back the Matildas with a public holiday, we’ll work with the other states and the Commonwealth to get the right date,” Minns said in a statement.

“It’s going to be raised at national cabinet next week, in the meantime, we’ll get behind the Matilda’s for the next two games.”

pictured is the Matildas

The Matildas have advanced in the World Cup thanks to a win over Denmark.

Business ‘suffering’

However, not everyone wants a public holiday, as handful of people called up 2GB on Tuesday to share their thoughts.

While some wanted to show their support for the Matildas and celebrate with a public holiday, others simply did not want the day off work, saying that small businesses will suffer.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup final will be on August 20, which is a Sunday, so people are unsure of when the potential public holiday would be.

Among those rejecting a public holiday is Liberal Member for Vaucluse, Kellie Sloane.

Speaking to 2GB, Sloane said she had been spending time out in her community and has noticed that local businesses are “suffering”.

She added that a new and impromptu public holiday would “burden” small businesses and said she couldn’t believe Albanese and Minns were suggesting it was a possibility.

“It’s populous politics and it’s damaging to the economy and small businesses are saying they can’t, they can’t cope,” Sloane said.

-with InDaily

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