New Big Bash League season to receive enhanced broadcast coverage

Cricket Australia has detailed enhanced coverage plans for the 2020-21 editions of the Big Bash League and Women’s Big Bash League after confirming the schedules for the Twenty20 competitions.

More matches than ever will be shown by pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports and commercial free-to-air broadcaster Seven, which acquired domestic rights to Australian cricket in a six-season deal signed in April 2018. The deal worth a total of A$1.18bn (€725m/$830m).

Fox Sports will show 23 regular-season matches and all three finals from this season’s WBBL, which marks three more than last season. The remaining 33 fixtures will be streamed live on the CA Live app, cricket.com.au and the Foxtel-owned Kayo Sports OTT platform.

A total of 48 out of 56 regular-season BBL matches will be broadcast live in prime time – 11 more than last season. Every match will be covered live on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports, with Seven to televise 45 matches including finals. An additional four ‘twilight’ matches will be shown compared to last season.

A full 59-game season has been scheduled for the WBBL, which returns following a successful inaugural standalone campaign in 2019-20. The season will begin on October 17.

The extended BBL season, which will feature 61 games in total, will begin at the Adelaide Oval on December 3 with the Adelaide Strikers facing the Melbourne Renegades. The five-match finals series has been retained, with the final to be held on February 6.

The divvying up of rights between Seven and Fox Sports will grant the latter exclusive coverage of 10 evening matches, according to ESPNcricinfo.

The decision to start the BBL season in early December will also tie in with Australia’s first Test against India at the Gabba in the same week.

BBL chief executive Alistair Dobson said: “All our numbers from a TV point of view suggest that BBL games off the back of Test matches are really strong.

“Our clubs have really bought into the idea of a really creative and innovative week of matches where we’ve got a home game for every club in those first eight, it presents some really interesting opportunities for us to work with our players and clubs around a theme and events.”