The KFC T20 Big Bash League (BBL) returns to Network Ten on Thursday night with the opening match of the fourth season of the T20 tournament. The 2014-15 season will be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on Network Ten and will run from 18 December 2014 to 28 January 2015.
Network Ten will broadcast all 35 matches of the T20 tournament, with 34 of 35 of those matches in prime time and a post-Christmas period that will see 22 matches played in 21 days. It will be a cricket feast as viewers will also be treated to live international cricket on Nine with Australia continuing its test series against India and a one-day series to come against England and India in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup in February.
The BBL rated it socks off on Network Ten last season and Ten and Cricket Australia will be looking to grow the viewership of the tournament in its second year as an exclusive free-to-air television product. Network Ten Head of Sport, David Barham, said ahead of the BBL season that:
“Our inaugural KFC T20 Big Bash League broadcast beat all our ratings targets and viewers are going to love our 2014-15 coverage.”
It seems that sponsors agree with Ten signing an impressive list of season two sponsors. KFC Australia and Holden are returning sponsors and will be joined by new sponsors Harvey Norman, Woolworths, Sportsbet and Foxtel. The British Sausage Company in Perth and the Queensland Government have also signed on to be part of Ten’s summer of cricket.
Harvey Norman Chief Executive, Katie Page, commenting on the group’s sponsorship of Ten’s coverage said that:
“Harvey Norman is proud to have signed on as a sponsor for what is set to be the most exciting KFC T20 Big Bash League season yet. With a jam-packed summer of cricket to look forward to, our customers and fans across the country can catch all the exciting and fast-paced action on their big screens at home.”
Ten’s BBL broadcasts will be hosted by Mel McLaughlin, Mark Howard and Andy Maher. The expert commentary team will feature Adam Gilchrist AM and Ricky Ponting AO, Mark Waugh AM, Damien Fleming and Sir Viv Richards. Joining them in the commentary box will be former England players Andrew Flintoff (playing for the Brisbane Heat) and Kevin Pietersen (playing for the Melbourne Stars). They will commentate for Ten in and around their playing duties.
Ten’s coverage kicks off on Thursday from the revamped Adelaide Oval with the Adelaide Strikers taking on the Melbourne Stars from 7:30pm AEST.