BBL and WBBL soar to new highs
Records were smashed on and off field during BBL|05, while WBBL|01 proved a hit with players and fans
25 January 2016, 03:48 PM AEST
Sydney Thunder's historic championship double on Sunday capped off a record-breaking fifth edition of the KFC Big Bash League.
On field, it was a tale of one club as the Thunder claimed their first BBL title as well as the inaugural Rebel Women's Big Bash League trophy.
Off field the achievements were just as strong, with more than one million fans attending BBL|05 matches over the course of the tournament and more than one million people on average tuning in to each match on Network Ten.
The average attendance for BBL matches across the regular season was 28,248, up a staggering 22 per cent on BBL|04.
Quick single: Thunder toast historic double
Attendance records were smashed around the country, with seven of the eight BBL venues breaking domestic attendance records during the season.
However, it was the Melbourne derby at the MCG on January 2 which saw the biggest crowd, when an incredible 80,883 people saw the Stars continue to hold the upper hand over the Renegades.
Watch: Inside the Thunder BBL celebrations
The TV ratings for the regular season were similarly strong, with an average of 1,103,241 people tuning in for each match on Ten, an 18 per cent increase on the previous season.
"We were delighted with this season’s competition on all levels. The first four years of the BBL saw the league steadily build, but this season has really exceeded our expectations,” Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia Executive General Manager Operations, said.
"Most pleasingly, the season delivered on our objective of drawing kids, females and families to the cricket.
"To have had more than one million fans attend matches around the country during the tournament is most pleasing and it points to the fun, family atmosphere that has been on offer at each and every match.
"All of the players and clubs deserve high praise for of the entertainment they have put on for the fans this season.
"Equally, we’d like to thank Network Ten for their top-class broadcast which has made the BBL must-watch summer holiday viewing in millions of homes around Australia."
Watch: Inside the sheds for the Thunder's WBBL celebrations
Meanwhile, the inaugural WBBL was warmly embraced by the Australian public as the best female players in the world converged on Australia for the tournament.
Thousands of fans attended WBBL matches over the course of the regular season, with the average attendance at double-header matches with the KFC BBL over 5,000 and a peak crowd of over 14,000 attending the match between the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder at Etihad Stadium on January 9.
The WBBL also proved to be compelling for television audiences, with Network Ten broadcasting seven matches over the course of the regular season, achieving a regular season average audience of 250,000, with the semi-finals and final also broadcast.
Of those 10 matches, three were promoted to Ten's main channel, Channel 10, while the rest were broadcast on ONE HD.
“The Rebel WBBL has been a great success in its inaugural season across a number of measures, but what has been most impressive has been the positive response to the competition from fans as demonstrated through match attendance and TV ratings," McKenna said.
"The Rebel WBBL was launched with a core objective of inspiring girls to play cricket. While it is too early for us to measure the direct impact of the tournament upon participation, the interest from the public has been truly outstanding."