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World Cup a chance to reboot Australia’s love of Cricket

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April 2014 – March 2015, n=15,913, April 2018 – March 2019, n=14,722. Base: Australians 14+. 
New research from Roy Morgan shows 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. However, 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.

Men’s Test Cricket is the favoured form of Cricket 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 that we profiled earlier this year – ‘KFC hits it out of the park with Big Bash sponsorship’ – February 8, 2019.

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.

The research reveals that Cricket is most definitely a ‘TV Sport’ with the number of Australians playing Cricket in the year to March 2019 now at 974,000, down 22.3% points from the year to March 2015 when interest in the sport peaked with Australia hosting the World Cup. 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.

Australians watching Cricket on TV and playing Cricket – March 2019 cf. March 2015

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April 2014 – March 2015, n=15,913, April 2018 – March 2019, n=14,722. Base: Australians 14+. 

Core of TV Cricket audience in Australia are Baby Boomers and Generation X

Analysing viewers of Cricket on TV by Generation and Gender reveals that Australians in Generation X and the Baby Boomers comprise 55% of the TV audience for Cricket in Australia. Australians in these age groups were born between 1946-1975 and are now aged between 43-73 years old.

Unsurprisingly men comprise the majority of TV viewers of Cricket overall and in each generation. Over 4.5 million men (63% of TV viewers of Cricket) and more than 2.6 million women (37%) watch Cricket of one sort or another.

The TV viewership of Cricket is very strong amongst Baby Boomers, with 1.25 million men and over 750,000 women in this Generation watching cricket – more viewers than any other age group.

Numerically speaking Generation Y is only slightly smaller than Generation X however TV viewership of Cricket is significantly lower for Generation Y. Only 30% of Generation Y watch Cricket on TV compared to 40% of Generation X and the raw numbers illustrate this difference.

Australian Cricket watchers on TV by Generation & Gender – March 2019

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April 2018 – March 2019, n=14,722. Base: Australians 14+.

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. 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.

“All games involving Australia, and all finals, are available to view on Nine Network channel 9Gem while the full tournament is accessible to watch on Foxtel and Foxtel sports streaming service Kayo Sports. All channels broadcasting the World Cup are clearly hoping for a successful tournament for Australia which will help to draw in as many of the millions of Australian cricket fans as possible over the next six weeks leading up to the final in mid-July. 

“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. Already over 2.8 million Australians watch Women’s Cricket including Women’s Test Matches, Women’s ODIs or the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).

“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. 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.

“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 new found 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.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2