WBBL, Southern Stars hit the small screen
A feast of women's cricket will be on television this month with the WBBL finals and Southern Stars
20 January 2016, 05:07 PM AEST
The world's top female cricketers are set to take centre stage on free-to-air television, with the inaugural Rebel Women's Big Bash League finals to be decided this weekend before the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars kick off their battle with India.
The Nine Network yesterday confirmed it would broadcast the first Twenty20 International between the Southern Stars and India, to be played at Adelaide Oval on January 26, on its main channel, Channel 9, hosted by Wide World of Sports presenter Yvonne Sampson.
The second two matches in the series, at the MCG (January 29) and SCG (January 31) are currently scheduled to be shown on Nine's digital channel GEM.
Nine Network’s Head of Sport, Steve Crawley said: "There’s something special about the Southern Stars, and what better way to spend Australia Day than by watching the champion T20 women’s team in the afternoon against India and then the men at night."
The series is a chance to see the Southern Stars – currently the world's No.1 women's team - in action as they warm-up for a tilt at a fourth-straight Women's World T20 title in India in March.
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All three T20 matches will be played as double headers with the men's KFC T20 International series between Australia and India.
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The Nine Network has a number of experts in place for the three T20s, including Southern Stars legend Mel Jones, cricket.com.au reporter and Middlesex captain Isabelle Westbury and Nine Network reporter Caty Price, plus unprecedented access to both teams.
The confirmation of Nine's coverage comes after Network Ten announced it would broadcast the semi-finals of WBBL|01, in addition to the final on January 24.
The network had originally not planned to televise the two WBBL semi-finals, to be played as double headers with the KFC Big Bash League on January 21 and 22, but added the games to their schedule on the back of strong viewing figures for the women's tournament.
The semi-finals will be shown on Ten's digital channel, ONE HD, while the final will be shown on Ten's main channel, Channel 10.
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The Melbourne derby earlier this month, played between the Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades at the MCG, recorded a peak television audience of 439,000 viewers and a record national average of 372,000.
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Last week’s match between the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder was played in front of a record crowd of 14,611 at the Etihad Stadium, while last weekend's Sydney derby attracted a crowd of 12,220 and a peak television audience of 496,000, making it No.1 in its timeslot across all channels.
The Southern Stars will also meet India in three one-day internationals in Canberra (February 2) and Hobart (February 5 and 7), with all three games to be streamed live on cricket.com.au and via the Cricket LIVE App.
The inaugural Governor-General's XI match - featuring some of Australia's brightest female talent taking on India in a warm-up T20 - will also be streamed on cricket.com.au and the Cricket LIVE App from 3.00pm AEDT on Friday, January 22, with commentary from Alison Mitchell and Isabelle Westbury.
WBBL on Channel 10 and ONE HD
January 21: WBBL semi-final - Sydney Thunder v Perth Scorchers, Adelaide Oval (2.40pm AEDT), ONE HD
January 22: WBBL semi-final - Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Sixers, MCG (2.40pm AEDT), ONE HD
January 24: WBBL final (2.40pm AEDT), Channel 10
Southern Stars on Channel 9 and GEM
January 26: Southern Stars v India, Adelaide Oval (2.40pm AEDT), Channel 9
January 29: Southern Stars v India, MCG (2.40pm AEDT), GEM
January 31: Southern Stars v India, SCG (2.40pm AEDT), GEM