Australia’s BBL T20 cricket has become more accessible, with free to air broadcaster, Network Seven, adding extra matches and new programming to their schedule. While last year’s coverage included 43 live BBL T20 telecasts, this season Seven has grabbed the rights to a further two games, meaning the channel will show 45 Big Bash League matches on Aussie free to air TV.
Network Seven have announced that 45 BBL free to air games will be available to Australian cricket fans this season, including the majority of league head to heads, and each and every match of the Finals. No doubt the promise of televising more cricket will please those wanting to watch their favourite teams in pursuit of the BBL Trophy, along with player form in the lead up to the T20 World Cup. Here’s what’s known about these BBL09 programing updates at this time.
Seven Expands BBL Free to Air TV Schedule
The additional two matches will be aired on both channel 7 and their regional broadcaster 7Mate, for a total of 45 free to air matches available to fans of T20. It all kicks off with the tournament opener between Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder on December 17, and then proceeds with a Victoria-New South Wales derby clash between Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder on December 19. Pre tournament favourites Hobart Hurricanes will make their first TV appearance against the Sydney Sixers on December 20. This year the Cricket action on Boxing Day, December 26, will feature the Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Sixers, while News Year’s Day will include an evening match between the Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers, with each of these contests available on the Seven network.
While this obviously represents a significant expansion of BBL coverage on Network Seven, it should be noted that games such as the Renegades versus the Hurricanes on December 24, as well as the Sydney Derby on December 28, and Melbourne Derby on January 4th, will not be available on the network. 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, BBL09 will welcome a host of international stars including AB de Villiers and fellow South African bowling great Dale Steyn (Stars), all-rounder David Miller (Hurricanes), as well as Englishmen Chris Jordan (Scorchers), Alex Hales (Thunder), Phil Salt (Strikers) and Liam Livingstone (Scorchers). The biggest signing, however, is Steve Smith who will be joining the Sydney Sixers, although the world’s best batsman’s international commitments with Australia mean he won’t be available until later in the BBL season.
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 2019/20 Big Bash League is the 9th edition of Australia’s domestic T20 series, with the first delivery set to be bowled on December 8. Taking place across every state in Australia, all games in 2019/20 are to be played on weekday evenings and weekends at what would be 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 Finals Schedule and Coverage
Due to licensing agreements, the BBL live free to air coverage across channels 7 and 7Mate are limited to 45 games, which includes forty regular season matches and all five games of the Play-offs. For comparison, Foxtel and Kayo Sports both offer all 61 matches on the BBL 2019/20 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 nine fall on a Saturday, while the other seven fixtures are spread about. Among the Saturday telecasts that will not air on 7 or 7Mate include a Melbourne Derby on January 4th, two teams that should be in the mix, Hobart and the Sydney Thunder on January 11th, as well as a pair of matches on the last Saturday of the season (January 25th). Here’s the complete list of upcoming matches that are exclusively on Foxtel and Kayo Sports.
BBL Finals 2020 Have a New Format
The BBL Finals have been transformed into a play-off system where the top two teams in the league will get a second chance to play for the trophy, even if they should lose their first match in the play-offs. That’s because this seasons’ finals, which take place from January 30 to February 8, will feature an additional game called the Eliminator (Jan 30th). This Eliminator match will see the teams who finish fourth and fifth go head-to-head for a spot in the Knock-out (Feb 1st), where they will face the side that finished third for a spot in the Challenger (Feb 6th). In the Qualifier (Jan 31st), the first and second placed teams will square off, with the prevailing side qualifying for the Final on the 8th of February, while the losing side will play in the Challenger (Feb 6th) to decide the other Finalist.
|Saturday 8 February||Final – Sydney Sixers V Melbourne Stars||LIVE: 7.15pm||Kayo / Foxtel / Seven|
|Sunday 9 February||Bush Fire Cricket Bash T10||LIVE: 3.00pm||Kayo / Foxtel / Seven|
|Sunday 9 February||Final – Sydney Sixers V Melbourne Stars||Replay: 6.00pm||Kayo / Foxtel / Seven|