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SBD Global/December 21, 2012/Media

Sophomore Slump Catches Up With Twenty20 Big Bash League

The Twenty20 Big Bash League "has stalled at the start line of its heavily promoted second edition, with ratings down 30% and crowds dipping nearly 40% from the same stage of the competition last year," according to Chris Barrett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. In "a blow for Cricket Australia and the competition's broadcaster, Fox Sports," ratings comparisons obtained by Fairfax Media reveal that "interest in the city-based domestic league has fallen significantly, while plummeting attendances also point toward second-year syndrome." After the first nine games of the tournament "the average national TV audience was 237,000, a drop of 29% on the same point of '11-12, the first year of the revamped league." Average crowds are 11,167, while, after the same number of matches last December, the BBL had "average attendances of 17,575." The numbers "are a concern" for CA as it prepares for final negotiations for a five-year domestic broadcast deal. Fox Sports, which will bid to retain the BBL rights, is "understood to be content with the ratings despite the slide," having also used its coverage of the competition "to bump up subscriber numbers" (SMH, 12/21).
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