Big Bash League TV Ratings Slightly Below Expectations, But Officials Optimistic
Cricket Australia officials "weren't exactly dancing in the street" about the first TV ratings on the opening weekend of the Big Bash League, but were still "pleased that the ratings hadn't gone over a cliff," according to Wayne Smith of THE AUSTRALIAN. The average BBL match on Fox Sports 2 over the weekend attracted 252,000 viewers, a drop of 30,000 on last year's full-season average. By the second half of that debut season, the average audience had dropped to around 250,000. At first glance, the ratings for the opening weekend of Big Bash "would not have pleased" Cricket Australia officials. That is because attendance was, in some cases, down tens of thousands down from last year -- the inaugural season of the BBL -- and also "well below scaled-down expectations." The first TV ratings for '12-13 "carried on where last season's numbers left off." Big Bash Senior Manager Anthony Everard said, "We feel we got off to a solid start. It's hard to draw any firm conclusions from just four matches (out of a 35-match season), but we feel it is a good product and had a lot of very positive feedback about innovations like helmet-cam and the light-up stumps. We're confident the initial figures will hold up or improve." Everard noted criticism from Sydney Sixers CEO Stuart Clark that the Big Bash had started before school holidays in many parts of the country. Everard: "With such a young competition, we still are very open to what suits our target audience, and there is no doubt that families and school children are key demographics" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/11).