#SydneySmash breaks ratings record
Opening game of BBL|05 the highest rating non-finals match in Big Bash League history
18 December 2015, 11:25 AM AEST
The opening match of the KFC Big Bash League's fifth season has been a ratings smash, with more than 1.5 million people tuning in for the Sydney derby between the Thunder and the Sixers.
The match at Spotless Stadium attracted a peak audience of 1.53 million on Network Ten, while an impressive crowd of 18,287 turned out to watch the Thunder record their first ever win over their cross-town rivals.
Quick Single: Report & highlights from BBL opener
A peak audience of 1.05 million watched the run chase in the five major capital cities alone, making it the highest-rating non-finals match in BBL history.
The match was also a hit on social media, with #BBL05 the No.1 trending topic around Australia.
WATCH: All the big moments from the #SydneySmash
Cricket Australia's Executive General Manager of Media, Communications & Marketing Ben Amarfio said he's looking forward to a landmark weekend for both the BBL and Rebel Women's Big Bash League.
"This has been our best start ever in terms of anticipation, excitement and coverage in relation to both the BBL and the WBBL," Amarfio said.
"The great build-up paid off last night with the crowd and the TV ratings, and it was great to see us trending No.1 on Twitter as well.
"We are looking forward to a big first weekend of BBL|05 and despite the oppressive heat in Adelaide and Melbourne over the coming days, we're hoping this will be our best opening weekend in history.
"And we're also looking forward to the first ever televised WBBL match this weekend."
The WBBL clash between the Heat and the Strikers in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon will be broadcast live on One at 2:40pm AEDT, while Sunday's WBBL game between the Sixers and Scorchers will also be shown on One at 11:40am AEDT.
The BBL continues tonight when the Melbourne Stars, headlined by Kevin Pietersen and Glenn Maxwell, take on the Strikers at the Adelaide Oval.
WATCH: Thunder claim first-ever win over the Sixers
It's the first BBL match in Adelaide since a record-breaking 52,633 fans turned out for the elimination final last season.
The BBL action continues over the weekend with three more matches; the Heat take on the Renegades at the Gabba, the Sixers host the Hurricanes at the SCG and the Stars return to the MCG to take on the Thunder.
An impressive weeknight crowd turned out at Spotless Stadium on Thursday, the Thunder's first match at their new full-time home ground.
"The atmosphere here was brilliant," Thunder allrounder Shane Watson said after the match.
"It's nice to be able to play well in front of a home crowd.
"To be able to create a bit of a fortress here is exactly what we're looking to do, which means more people are a chance of coming along and supporting us.
"And not just on TV, but here at the ground to continue to create a really good atmosphere."
Tickets for every match of #BBL|05 are available here