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Bloodline beats birthplace when it comes to Test Match Cricket viewers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014- March 2015, sample n = 51,882 Australians 14+

It takes more than being a born-and-bred Australian to want to sit and watch Test Match Cricket on TV, the latest data from Roy Morgan shows. More important, it seems, is where your parents were born

With the first 2015 Ashes match in Cardiff imminent, 1 in 3 Australians aged 14+ (33.1%, or 6.4 million) say they almost always or occasionally watch Test Cricket on TV.

Those born here (as just over 70% of us were) are a bit more likely than average to watch (35.8%), and the 6.2% of us who herald from the birthplace of cricket, the UK, are a smidge more likely again to watch (36.5%).

More likely still are the half of us who were born in Australia to two Australian-born parents: 37.4% of whom watch Test Cricket. But the biggest Test Match viewers are actually those born in Australia to two UK-born parents (40.1%).

% who watch Test Match Cricket on TV6324

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014- March 2015, sample n = 51,882 Australians 14+

Meanwhile the 4.5 million Australians 14+ (23.4%) born elsewhere than here or the UK are far less likely to be interested in Test Cricket, with just 23.9% watching. And viewing interest rises only 3% points among their next Australian-born generation: 26.9% of those born here to non-UK immigrant parents watch Test Cricket—still well below the overall Aussie-born norm.

So clearly it takes more than a generation and a life spent growing up here to instil a desire to watch 150 hours or more of The Ashes over the next seven weeks.

Hugh Amoyal, Deputy CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The proportion of Australians who watch Test Match Cricket declined from over 40% in 2008 to around 33% in 2012, where it has since steadied—and more say they almost always or occasionally watch Test Cricket on TV than AFL or NRL games during the regular season. The Nine Network can again expect to score big ratings for its live, prime time Ashes coverage on GEM.

“Regular or occasional participation in cricket is rising by an average of around 0.1% point per year, with now 6.2% of all Australians playing. However, unlike the case with TV viewership, this growth is actually being driven by participation among people born overseas: 9.4% of Australians born elsewhere than here or the UK play cricket—and consequently they make up over a third of cricket players.

At heart, this is driven by age. People under 34 are more likely to play most sports, including cricket, while TV viewers are more likely to be older—and younger people are much more likely than older to have been born elsewhere than Australia or the UK.

“Broadcasters, sports associations and government agencies need to understand the demographic profiles of viewers and participants in what we consider our ‘national sports’, and how these rates are being affected by our ageing, predominantly Anglo-Australian and European population, and the younger generations of Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants and their children.”

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research’s sports viewership and participation data, please contact:

Vaishali Nagaratnam
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5309

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


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%