From the 2024-25 season, the Big Bash League will be reduced to 43 games, 18 fewer than it is now. Cricket Australia has signed a new seven-year domestic broadcast deal with Foxtel Group and Seven West Media.
CA stated that the new arrangement lowered BBL content to allow for “more player availability, a higher proportion of prime-time matches, and stronger synchronisation with school holidays.”
The BBL was last contested under a 43-game (including three post-league matches) format in the 2017-18 season, and it has since been expanded to 61 games, including a five-match finals series. The tournament’s length has been criticised, as the finest Australian players representing the national side rarely played in the domestic T20 competition.
The ongoing season of the league, which will feature David Warner (Sydney Thunder) and Steve Smith (Sydney Sixers) following the conclusion of the New Year’s Test, will lose a lot of overseas talent to the SA20 and ILT20 competitions. It is something the league intends to avoid in future seasons with the modification.
A seven-year broadcast contract for AUD 1.5 billion has been signed.
The new broadcast agreement was struck for AUD 1.5 billion and will last from mid-2024 to the end of the 2030-31 season. Seven and Foxtel spent AUD 1.18 billion in 2018 for the current six-year deal, displacing the Nine Network, which had owned the rights for more than 40 years.
Seven and CA, on the other hand, have been at odds over content since 2020, with the broadcaster threatening to terminate the existing contract and filed proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia in June. As part of the contract extension, which now runs until 2031, Seven has agreed to drop its legal case against CA over a perceived lack of quality in the BBL, the country’s domestic T20 event.
Seven said on Tuesday that the new arrangement would cost AUD 65 million per year, a 13% reduction from the current one, and would save more than AUD 50 million in cash over the term due to lower fees and production expenses.