Weber WBBL proves a ratings hit as fans prepare for more cricket on TV than ever before
The opening weekend of Weber WBBL|07 has proven a ratings smash hit, with a 58% television audience increase across the first five simulcast matches on last season.
A massive cumulative average audience of 1.113 million tuned in to Weber WBBL|07’s Thursday, Saturday and Sunday matches across the Seven Network and Foxtel, with three matches being decided in the final over and one going all the way to a super over.
The ratings success comes as Cricket Australia confirmed, alongside broadcast partners Foxtel and Seven, that more cricket would be broadcast than ever before across Australian TV screens this summer.
In all, more than 1000 hours of live cricket will be televised across multiple formats of elite cricket, a huge win for Australian cricket fans.
All 1,000 hours will be telecast on Fox Cricket and Kayo, with more than 600 hours on the Seven Network. A further 1,300+ hours will be available to fans on Kayo and cricket.com.au platforms. The uplift in coverage will is driven by a significant increase in live coverage of the women’s game, including the Weber WBBL and WNCL.
Alongside the coverage available on both Fox Cricket and Seven which includes the Vodafone Ashes series, Weber WBBL, KFC BBL and the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes, this season’s expanded coverage will also result in Fox Cricket telecasting every WBBL match for the first time in history.
Highlights of the expanded television coverage includes:
- For the first time ever, over 1,000 hours of live cricket will be shown on television during season 2021-22, in addition to over 600 hours on free-to-air TV.
- There will be more coverage of the women’s game than ever before, with all 59 matches of WBBL being shown live on TV for the first time (up from 36 matches last season).
- All Marsh Sheffield Shield and WNCL matches will also be streamed live on Kayo and CA platforms.
- When combined with coverage on streaming platforms, a total of 2,344 hours of live coverage of cricket will be available to fans for season 2021-22.
Ratings highlights of Weber WBBL|07 opening weekend:
- Thursday night’s season opener drew an average audience of 233,000 after from the delayed start of 9pm AEDT, as the Sixers beat the Stars in an 11 overs per side thriller. This represented a 22% increase on the average WBBL|06 audience for simulcast night home and away matches
- Saturday’s 195,000 average audience for the Renegades v Hurricanes clash was up 17% on the WBBL|06 Saturday afternoon average audience
- Saturday night’s Thunder v Strikers average audience of 294,000 broke a WBBL record by being the highest rating home & away match broadcast on FTA outside of the primary channel
- Sunday morning’s average audience of 126,000 for the Hurricanes v Sixers was up 25% on last season’s average for the time slot
- On Sunday afternoon, an epic clash between the Heat and Scorchers was watched by an average audience of 265,000. Interim data does not include the super over, which is expected to see the audience rise further.
Cricket Australia Head of Broadcast & Production Richard Ostroff said:
“To be able to bring more cricket to households across the country is exciting especially the additional coverage of the women’s game, which is a reflection of the growth in popularity of the Weber WBBL in particular,” Ostroff said.
“A big summer of cricket is already underway and as the opening weekend of the WBBL has shown, our fans are responding in big numbers. The volume, accessibility and quality of television and radio coverage this season will be unprecedented.
“We are grateful to our friends at Foxtel and the Seven Network, and our radio partners at the ABC, SEN and Triple M for their ongoing commitment to the game and fans across the country.”