Cricket claims ‘favourite sport’ tag

Widespread public response to the first Ashes test in England has been used as  the basis for the claim that cricket is Australia’s favourite sport.

According  to Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, “The popularity of the first Test highlights the affection for the game at all levels in communities across Australia and supports cricket’s place as the number one participation sport in the country.

“According to our annual independent and rigourous research, cricket ranked number one in 2011-12 with almost 900,000 participants, with AFL number two and soccer third.

“We’re preparing to announce another big participation increase for 2012-13 soon.”

Says Sutherland, “While some sports may focus on particular strengths in selective demographics, overall, across all demographics, the Census data shows cricket is Australia’s number one participation sport.

“We’re confident that based on our extensive independent research, cricket outperforms all other sports across viewership, attendance, passion, interest, share of voice and every form of digital media engagement across the period from October to March.

“The first Test delivered record numbers on CA’s digital platforms,  strong ratings for the Nine Network, while ABC Radio reported an overwhelming reaction to its comprehensive digital and ball-by-ball coverage.

“The Test reached an incredible 9.35m combined viewers across GEM and Fox Sports. The first session on day two averaged 720,000 viewers nationally on GEM making it the highest audience on a secondary digital platform ever.

“Despite our strong position and the spikes we see during the Ashes, we continue to be sharply focused on growing our game and ensuring its place as a sport of choice for all Australians,” Sutherland says.

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