rebel WBBL|01

Women's Big Bash a ratings hit

A record TV audience and a strong MCG crowd watched yesterday's thrilling Melbourne derby

AAP & Cricket Network

3 January 2016, 06:22 PM AEST

The success of the KFC Big Bash League has transferred to women's cricket, with the Rebel Women's Big Bash League viewership peaking at above 400,000 on Saturday.

In the competition's debut on Network Ten's main channel, a record average of 372,000 viewers tuned in, reaching a high of 439,000, to see the Melbourne Renegades' thrilling final-over victory against cross-town rivals the Stars at the MCG.

The figure is the highest-ever for a women's domestic match, easily topping the average of 250,000 who watched the Brisbane Heat defeat the Adelaide Strikers in December on Ten's secondary channel, One HD.

Quick single: Crowds voting for exciting Big Bash

Those numbers promoted Network Ten to promote the highly anticipated Melbourne derby to its main channel.

Almost 13,000 fans were also inside the MCG by the end of the match, before more than 80,000 saw the two Melbourne men's teams clash.

In comparison, the 50-over Matador BBQ's One-Day Cup attracted an average national audience of 96,000 this summer, while the A-League is averaging 78,000 viewers on SBS2 and 62,000 on Fox Sports.

Watch: Wyatt steers Renegades home in front of big MCG crowd

Saturday's strong attendance followed the crowd of 10,500 who watched the Adelaide Strikers topple the Perth Scorchers on New Year's Eve, while 1,500 people piled into Melbourne's Junction Oval to watch the first ever WBBL match between the Stars and the Heat, in a standalone fixture on December 5.

"We were absolutely delighted to see crowds across the country come out in force, with record attendances at our men’s and women’s Big Bash League matches," Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager – Operations, said.

"It’s still early days but we are very pleased with the strong start to the Women’s Big Bash League.

"We want to show young girls that they too can aspire to represent their favourite BBL club.

"To have set an attendance world record for a women’s domestic cricket match with almost 13,000 people, shows the potential of the women’s game here in Australia."

Quick single: Lanning returns to ruin Renegades' run

A total of eight WBBL matches will be broadcast on Ten or ONE HD this season.

The next will be a showdown between the Renegades and Sydney Thunder at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, January 9 (2.40pm AEDT), in the lead-up to the second BBL|05 Melbourne derby.

It will be the Thunder's first televised match of WBBL|01. The explosive batting of West Indian captain Stafanie Taylor and the left-arm pace of 17-year-old Lauren Cheatle have helped put the Thunder on top of the WBBL ladder, and they will be relishing the opportunity to show off their talents on Network 10 for the first time.

FREE OFFER: Get an Optus Live Pass to stream every ball of BBL matches (and Test matches) for FREE until midnight January 9. Click here or on the image below.