Shorter Big Bash season will rate just as well, insists Ten’s sport boss

KFC Big Bash leagueTen has insisted that despite an increase of cricket available to Nine this coming summer, Big Bash will again deliver it decent ratings.

Last week saw Nine unveil a comprehensive schedule of one day, Twenty20 and Test internationals ahead of the World Cup in February and March

Ten holds the rights to the domestic version of Twenty20, Big Bash, and has now released its game schedule which is over a shorter time period but the same number of games as last year.

Te’s head of sport Dave Barham insisted to Mumbrella that the network would deliver audiences.



“We’ve got a brilliant draw, there’s actually a lot of free space for the Big Bash. All of our matches are played between 18th of December and 27th of January. It’s played in a much more concise period than what it was last year, probably over a couple of weeks less.

It’s great because it gets on air and it continues and we dominate that period every night,” Barham told Mumbrella.

The same time period sees the third Australia-India five day test from December 26-30, the fourth test from January 3-7, and the first five one day internationals featuring India and England.

The semi-finals of the Big Bash will be played across the Australia Day weekend, before the season culminates in the final on Wednesday, January 28.

Ten secured the Big Bash rights in June last year, signing a five year deal worth $100m.

“It’s fantastic, we had a great success last year and we’ve all learnt a lot of things and we’ve seen how successful it can and we’re in a position for it to be even better,” said Barham.

“The real bonus for us in this year’s draw was last year we had five day games, this year we only have one. So we have four more nights of prime time cricket.”

Each of the eight Big Bash clubs will play in four home and four away matches around the country.

Nine and Ten’s first same-day scheduling will occur in the days after Christmas, with the Perth Scorchers vs Melbourne Renegades scheduled for Boxing Day which is day one of the third test against India. The Big Bash match will be played in the evening, with the test played during the day.

Barham also backed comments made by Ten CEO Hamish McLennon that the network could get a slice of the AFL rights currently held by Seven. He said: “We have in the past, so I can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t this time. We were the dominant AFL broadcaster of the 2000s.”

Miranda Ward


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