Brisbane Heat’s comprehensive win over the Perth Scorchers in Saturday night’s KFC T20 Big Bash League BIG FINAL completed a successful second season for the league.
More than half a million fans attended matches across the season, with an average of 14,379 per match. While pre-Christmas crowds didn’t reach the very high benchmarks set in BBL|01, both crowds and TV audiences are well ahead of our original projections. Attendances post-Christmas were very strong with sell-outs in Hobart, Adelaide and Perth, and a domestic T20 record crowd of 46,581 for the BIG MELBOURNE DERBY at the MCG, contributing to an average attendance of 16,916 in these 19 matches.
While more than 225,000 people attended the Vodafone Tests in Melbourne and Sydney Tests, a further 198,189 fans attended BBL matches around the country during the same period.
The league once again proved its worth as an attractive TV product, highlighted by a season-high 368,781 viewers on FOX SPORTS for the BIG SEMI FINAL between the Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Stars. The season average of 232,864 viewers ensured BBL matches were the most-watched programs (sports and non-sport) on subscription TV in December and January.
“The league plays an important strategic role in Cricket Australia’s vision to become Australia's favourite sport by appealing to a new and diverse fan base. In season two the league continued to make inroads, with preliminary research indicating almost 20% of people who attended a BBL match this season were experiencing a live cricket match for the first time,” CA’s Executive General Manager Operations Mike McKenna said
“In terms of average attendance and TV viewers, the league also compares more than favourably with other sports.”
On-field, the Brisbane Heat followed the Sydney Sixers in BBL|01 by winning two finals away from home to win the title. They started the season 1-3 before finishing with a rush, winning five of their last six matches.
Making the final also qualified the Heat and Scorchers for this year’s Champions League Twenty20 tournament. In 2012, the total prize money and participation fees paid to teams and Home Boards was US$13 million. The winner of the tournament receives US$2.5m.
A number of players earned Australia T20 selection due to their performances during the past six weeks, including Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Ben Laughlin, Ben Cutting and Adam Voges. The league also continued to be the stage where young players get their chance, with the emergence of spin bowlers Adam Zampa and Cameron Boyce, as well as confirmation of Chris Lynn’s talent, among the season’s highlights.
Average Crowd: 14,379
Average Crowd Post-Christmas (19 matches): 16,916
Total attendance: 503,262
Top 5 Crowds
1. Stars v Renegades (2) – 46,581 (6 Jan)
2. Heat v Stars – 24,570 (3 Jan)
3. Renegades v Stars (1) – 23,589 (7 Dec)
4. Thunder v Sixers – 20,986 (30 Dec)
5. Scorchers v Stars (FINAL) – 18,517 (19 Jan)
Average TV Audience: 232,864
Total TV Audience: 7,838,234
Top 5 TV Ratings
1. Scorchers v Stars (SEMI FINAL) – 368,591 (16 Jan)
2. Renegades v Stars (1) – 343,067 (7 Dec)
3. Scorchers v Heat (FINAL) – 312,000 (19 Jan)
4. Stars v Thunder – 285,915 (8 Jan)
5. Stars v Renegades (2) – 277,418 (6 Jan)
BBL Player of the Tournament
Aaron Finch (Melbourne Renegades)
BBL Young Gun
Chris Lynn (Brisbane Heat)
Champions League Twenty20 Qualification