Ten’s coverage of the KFC Big Bash League (BBL) is continuing to do wonders for the network, moving it up past Seven into second place in the latest TV ratings.
Nine claimed top spot for overall network audience share last week with 27.3 per cent, followed by Ten (25.4 per cent), Seven (23.1 per cent), the ABC (16.5 per cent) and SBS (7.7 per cent), according to TV Tonight.
Ten also nearly beat Nine for primary channel share, with the networks recording 17.1 per cent and 18.1 per cent respectively. Seven was third with 14.6 per cent, followed by the ABC (11.3 per cent) and SBS (5.3 per cent).
The Daily Telegraph has speculated that cricket’s next TV deal could be as much as $800 million, with Nine preparing to do everything in its power to secure the rights to the BBL.
The News Corp masthead reported that Nine attracted a national peak audience of 1.821 million and 1.427 million viewers on the opening two days of the third cricket Test against Pakistan in Sydney.
Meanwhile, Ten’s BBL numbers peaked at 1.47 million for Tuesday’s match between the Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat, followed by 1.48 million the next night during the Sydney Thunder’s last-ball win against the Melbourne Stars.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Nine is placing more importance on securing the BBL rights than Australia’s international matches.
Nine’s director of sport, Tom Malone said in November that the network wants “everything” in regards to the upcoming rights negotiations with Cricket Australia.
“We want Test matches, we want one-dayers, we want [international] Twenty20s and we want the Big Bash,” he said.
“We’ve just got to try and find a way to make it work, but certainly there is a strong desire from the Wide World of Sports and from Nine more broadly to maintain our proud history with cricket.”