You would be forgiven for assuming that the entirety of the Seven Network would be doing cartwheels in response to the phenomenal TV ratings success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The games have gone on to make TV ratings history with Seven today estimating that the total TV figure for yesterday’s game stands at a breath-taking 11.15 million.
However, despite the success, in Seven’s earnings call yesterday, Warburton warned that the structure of soccer means that commercial success is limited.
After an analyst asked what the financial impact of the games will be Warburton said: “There are no ads during play, during extra time, and during penalty shootouts.”
Warburton was referencing the Matildas’ game against France. Despite being nearly three hours long, the final 90 minutes (including extra time and penalties) ran uninterrupted, meaning the only ads were those viewers could see on the pitch.
Warburton also gave more details on the networks decision to buy the FTA rights for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, saying that it was partially due to their quality of play at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and partially because the tournament is taking place in Australia.
Seven is estimated to have paid just $4-5 million for the rights to the games, arguably making it one of the best investments in TV sports history.
Despite the limited immediate commercial success of the tournament, Seven has undoubtedly experienced a halo effect from the games.
Ratings for its news programme, which has featured around the games, have been up and its singing show The Voice has also been performing well.
In Seven’s financial results, released yesterday, the network reported that its profit after tax had dropped 31 per cent year-on-year coming in at $146 million dollars, compared to $ 211 million last year.
Its revenue was also down three per cent year-on-year, falling to $1.488 billion for 2023 financial year, compared to $1.540 billion for the previous year.