Crowd numbers hit all-time high

Big Bash League now the fifth-best attended league in the world as total attendances jump on last season

More Australians attended cricket matches in the 2016-17 season than ever before, Cricket Australia has announced.

CA today released attendance figures for the past international and domestic seasons, revealing a total of 1,863,846 people came through the gates, more than the 1,727,270 that attended in 2015-16.

The figure takes into account total crowds for men's and women's internationals as well as the men's and women's Big Bash League competitions.

Crowds for the six Tests over the summer made up almost 28 per cent of the total attendance, while more than 1,000,000 people – more than 56 per cent of the total – attended the 35 men's BBL games.

The BBL attracted an average crowd of 30,114 people per match, an eight per cent increase on last year, making it the fifth biggest league in the world in terms of average attendance. Twenty of the 35 matches were sold out.

The high crowd numbers were backed up by strong TV ratings; an average of more than 1.2 million watched the ODI series against Pakistan, while an average of 1.04 million tuned in to the BBL, making it the most popular TV viewing option 31 nights out of 35.

Test cricket attracted an average television audience of 985,514, including the high for a session of cricket over the summer, the 2.189 million who watched the final session of the fourth day of the day-night Adelaide Test.

Women's cricket also enjoyed strong results; more than 121,000 fans attended the WBBL, which had an average television audience of almost 240,000, while the women's T20 internationals averaged a touch over 200,000 per match on television.

In addition to the WBBL broadcasts, live streaming of all non-televised matches on, Facebook and the CA Live App was enjoyed by 1.5 million fans, while match highlights reached more than 7.3 million people.

CA's Digital Cricket Network live streamed more than 200 days of cricket in total, in addition to television coverage on channels Nine and Ten.

Cricket Network was also the top-ranked sports destination in the country between November and January thanks to an average unique audience of 2.46 million, peaking at 2.78 million in January*.

"The 2016-17 season has been a great success across several measures, with the number of people attending matches or following the cricket via TV broadcasts or our digital channels confirming our position as Australia’s favourite sport and a national pastime across the summer," said CEO James Sutherland.

"With an Ashes summer in 2017-18, we will be looking for more ways to enhance the experience for our fans, whether they are attending matches, following online, or tuning in to the broadcasts."

*Nielsen DRM Unduplicated AD-Cricket Network/Cricket Australia App