Big Bash League A Major Hit For Cricket Fans, Ten Network
Cricket Australia said that "attendance and TV ratings in the first half of the Big Bash League justify why it deferred its start date and switched to free-to-air telecasts," according to Jesse Hogan of THE AGE. Average attendances for the first 16 matches have risen 37% to 19,649, compared with last season's average of 14,366. Ten, which snared the rights from Fox Sports in a five-year, A$100M ($89.6M) deal, "has attracted more than a million viewers nationally in a quarter of its matches." Average ratings for the first innings of night matches have been 878,000, while second innings have attracted 973,000 viewers. BBL chief Mike McKenna, CA's exec general manager of operations, said pushing most of the tournament into January was ''definitely the way to go." McKenna said, "The more programming we've got in the holiday period, once work and school is out of the way, the better." McKenna said the TV ratings on Ten had been ''double what we budgeted and probably 25 per cent more than what we'd hoped for in a really perfect world" (THE AGE, 1/7).