Initially it said it had little interest in cricket’s Big Bash league but it appears Channel Nine is warming to the idea following its ratings success for rival Ten over summer.
Fairfax Media are this morning reporting that Nine – home to international Tests, one-days and Twenty20 cricket – could make an audacious bid for the domestic Big Bash series too. This is despite a senior Nine executive telling B&T recently that the network wasn’t interested in the domestic league and was focused on international games and its very expensive rights agreement with Cricket Australia.
Ten secured the rights in 2013 for the Big Bash after the other networks showed little interest in wanting to show a State-based cricket competition. However, the Big Bash has proven a huge smash with TV viewers and has packed out stadiums where international cricket has played to often empty ones.
Ten secured the rights for $20 million but Fairfax Media is reporting that it could now be triple that when the rights come up for renegotiation in 2018.
What makes the Big Bash cricket particularly attractive is it’s not only live sport (coveted by all the networks) but advertisers appear keen to get on board and it runs over the traditionally lean summer months of December and January.
How Nine, if it were to secure the rights, would be able to run it alongside its existing cricket schedule is unclear. It is also thought that Seven may also tip its hat into the ring too.
Nine boss, Hugh Marks, was quoted in Fairfax as saying: “As part of our overall cricket offering to the public, yeah, I think it’s something (the Big Bash) we seriously need to consider.”
The Big Bash not only makes for exciting action it comes complete with pyrotechnics and dancers too and appears to attract a younger audience to cricket that typical Test matches don’t.