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SBD Global/January 17, 2014/Events and Attractions

CA's Big Bash League Attracting Larger Crowds Following Test Cricket's Summer Success

Cricket Australia's Big Bash League is "attracting larger crowds, greater audiences and broad interest on the back of an extraordinary summer of Test cricket that some suspected would suck the air out of any other competition," according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. CA CEO James Sutherland said during the summer that the "radical changes to the game should not be judged by the results of this Ashes or next year's World Cup." With seven games and the finals to play in Big Bash 03, TV ratings and attendances "suggest the domestic tournament is almost as big a success as the Ashes." The BBL is attracting "almost 1 million viewers a game" -- a four-fold increase on '12-13. Channel 10's coverage has "attracted widespread positive feedback." Average match attendances this year are "up from 14,000 to almost 20,000." CA "blew its budget establishing the league," investing more than $20M. This year the marketing budget "remains high and Sutherland admits it will be some time before there is a genuine return on the financial investment." Sutherland: "It will be a long time before we recoup the money from it but in a strategic sense it is starting to pay dividends and the benefit of being on free-to-air has turbocharged the Big Bash League" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/17).
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