World Cup 2014: Australia's Die-Hard Soccer Fans Tune In After Midnight


Three quarters of a million Aussies watched their team lose to the Netherlands Thursday at 2 a.m., local time

SYDNEY – It might have been 2 a.m. Sydney time, but over three quarters of a million Australians hauled themselves out of bed to watch their national  team, dubbed the Socceroos, valiantly lose to the Netherlands in their second group World Cup Match early on Thursday morning.

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In ratings figures released Friday by agency OzTAM, the 769,000 viewers who watched the game -- which saw Aussie striker Tim Cahill net what many pundits are calling the goal of the tournament so far -- gave public broadcaster SBS (the Special Broadcasting Service) a, perhaps unsurprising, metropolitan markets share of 76.9 percent between 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. local time.

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However, Thursday's game didn't quite reach the near record audiences for Australia’s first game against Chile, which aired live in the more viewer friendly time of 8 a.m. Saturday (June 14). That match averaged over 2.276 million viewers nationally (1.741 million Metro + 535,000 regional), achieving a 67.1 percent metro free-to-air share and 47.8 percent regional share, and a peak audience of 2.805 million.

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Australia next plays Spain on June 24 at 2 a.m., Sydney time. However, both the Aussies and the defending champions will bow out of the tournament after losing their first two games.