The 2020/21 BBL T20 cricket season will be as accessible as ever this year, with free to air broadcaster, Network Seven showing a total of 43 games live across the two month tournament.
Network Seven have announced that 43 BBL free to air games will be available to Australian cricket fans this season, including the majority of regular season head to heads, and each and every match of the Finals. This is, however, down from the 45 games that were shown on free to air during the 2019/20 season.
Seven BBL Free to Air TV Schedule
It all kicks off with the tournament opener on December 10th, with the final taking place of February 6th. The opening weekend of fixtures includes some mouth-watering games, such as the Sixers v Hurricanes and Strikers v Renegades.
Whilst this still represents a strong schedule for BBL coverage on Network Seven, it should be noted that a total of 16 games will not to be on free to air. All 61 tournament games will, however, be available live on both Foxtel and the streaming service Kayo Sports, as shown in the complete TV fixture list displayed below. The Seven telecasts will also include peak time ad-breaks, and there’s no indication that TV replays will be available either.
Channel 7 and 7Plus Broadcasting Guide
The BBL broadcasts on channel Seven will be headed by Mel McLaughlin, who will be joined by former Australian cricketers Ricky Ponting and Alison Mitchell, as well Australian Test captain Tim Paine and former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum. The Network Seven commentary team itself includes even more big names, with Greg Blewett, Damien Fleming and James Brayshaw among those set to take you through every delivery of all 45 games. Seven will be the official channel for fans located in Sydney and Melbourne, while 7Mate will be the go to channel for the Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth regions.
As for the players themselves, BB10 will welcome a host of international stars including Dawid Mulan (Sixers) Alex Hales (Hurricanes), Phil Salt and Liam Livingstone (Scorchers). There are still plenty of signings to be made as teams can sign up to three overseas players as opposed to the usual two. More announcements are expected to be made in terms of signings after the close of the IPL.
As seen in previous editions of the BBL, there will be a central production of matches that is nearly identical across Foxtel, Kayo Sports and Seven during live on-air action. One of the biggest differences between the networks is the fact that Seven will feature regular ad-breaks during play, while Foxtel/Kayo are promising no ad-breaks during live action, and a host of BBL replays and highlights along with International cricket.
The 2020/21 Big Bash League is the 10th edition of Australia’s domestic T20 series, with the first delivery set to be bowled on December 3rd. Taking place across every state in Australia, all games in 2020/21 are to be played on weekday evenings and weekends at times considered accessible viewing times. This schedule was purposefully chosen to increase exposure and help maximise the TV ratings.
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BBL Live Aussie TV: Full Schedule and Coverage
Due to licensing agreements, the BBL live free to air coverage across channels 7 and 7Mate is limited to 45 games, which includes 40 regular season matches and all five games of the Play-offs. For comparison, Foxtel and Kayo Sports both offer all 57 regular season matches on the BBL 2020/21 schedule, LIVE, ad break free during play and in HD. Kayo sports also have a 14 days free trial for those keen to watch their favourite team when it’s not available on channel 7.
Of the sixteen matches that will not be available on free to air, a total of seven fall on weekends, while the other six fixtures are set to take place on weekdays. Here’s the complete list of upcoming matches that are exclusively on Foxtel and Kayo Sports.
|Sat, Feb 6th||Final – Sixers v Scorchers||LIVE: 7.30pm||Seven / Foxtel / Kayo|
BBL Rule Changes For 2020/21
The BBL will introduce three new rule changes for the 2020/21 season that aim to add more excitement to what is already a thrilling format. Normally, the first six overs of an innings are set as powerplays, but that will be reduced to four this year, with the batting team then deciding when they want to take the extra two. This will help batsmen target weaker bowlers or go for more runs at specific times during an innings.
Teams will also have the opportunity to introduce a 12th man, or substitute, after the tenth over. This can be a specialist bowler or batsmen who can target wickets or runs respectively. The third change is to the overall points system when teams win or lose, with victories getting three points as opposed to two. A bonus point will also be up for grabs if a team is ahead of a run-chase after 10 overs.