Bailout of Big Bash League could cost Cricket Australia millions

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“We talked about the possibility of an overseas player draft. I think that has the potential to sign the best possible players, giving a little bit more profile and entertainment to the players who are signed, but also the way they are signed.

“There has also been a lot of discussion about Australian contract players and how they are aligned and signed to BBL teams. We’ll take a close look at that.

“It’s about entertaining people and attracting new fans so they have a fun night and want to come back. The BBL lost that.”

Board of Directors of the BBL Club

“They always want all sorts of big-name players in the BBL to play fairly and fairly and be available to all clubs.

“I think the deals with foreign players and these big-name Australian players will probably take a good chunk of that [review] Time.”

Shortening the season would make the BBL more attractive to foreign stars, but it would also cost millions of dollars in television rights to lose so many games.

However, BBL ratings are down about 30 percent this season, while ratings for the men’s test matches, women’s internationals and the Women’s Big Bash League have all risen.

Unless CA acts now to make BBL games the events they were at the height of the competition, multiple sources say the losses will be far greater when the next television rights deal is signed in two years.

Four years ago, when the previous $1.18 billion six-year rights deals were finalized with Fox Sports and Channel Seven, it was estimated that the Big Bash accounted for up to 45 percent of the value. It has clearly slipped and continues to fall.

Dobson declined to discuss details because of commercial uncertainty, saying there was no easy or quick fix.

“It’s never as simple as one solution or the other,” Dobson said. “There are many different elements.

“As we work through this process with the broadcasters and clubs and everyone involved, such questions will arise.”

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When the BBL only had eight games for each club, the average viewership was up to 34,000 and the ratings were one million a night. More than a million people came through the gate each season.

However, when a full home-away round was introduced four years ago, giving each team 14 games, total attendances barely moved, drastically reducing average attendances and robbing the games of their event feel.

Many of the fans and their families attended one or two games per tournament, whether it was four home games or seven.

“It has become just another cricket competition,” said a BBL club manager the herald and Age.

“It’s not just about winning cricket matches. It’s about entertaining people and attracting new fans so they have a fun night and want to come back. The BBL lost that.”

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