From the 2024-25 season on, the Big Bash League will have only 43 games, which is 18 fewer than it does now. Cricket Australia made a new domestic broadcast deal with Foxtel Group and Seven West Media for the next seven years. This change is part of that deal.
CA said that the new deal cut back on BBL content to make it possible for “more players to be available, more matches to be played during prime time, and a better fit with school holidays.”
In the 2017-18 season, BBL had 43 games, which included three post-league games. Since then, it has grown to 61 games, including a five-game finals series. People have complained about the length of the tournament because the best Australian players on the national team rarely played in the homegrown T20 league.
After the New Year’s Test is over, both David Warner (Sydney Thunder) and Steve Smith (Sydney Sixers) will play in the current season of the league. However, many overseas players will leave for the SA20 and ILT20 leagues. With the change, the league hopes that it won’t happen again in the future.
Broadcasting deal for seven years worth AUD 1.5 billion
The new broadcast deal is worth AUD 1.5 billion and will run from the middle of 2024 until the end of the 2030-31 season. Seven and Foxtel paid AUD 1.18 billion in 2018 for the current six-year deal, taking the rights away from the Nine Network, which had them for more than 40 years.
But Seven and CA had been fighting over content since 2020. In June, the broadcaster threatened to pull out of the current contract and took CA to the Federal Court of Australia. As part of this contract extension, which now lasts until 2031, Seven has also agreed to stop suing CA over what it sees as a lack of quality in the BBL, which is the country’s T20 tournament.
Seven said on Tuesday that the new deal would cost it AUD 65 million a year, which is 13% less than the current one, and that it would save more than AUD 50 million in cash over the course of the contract because of lower fees and production costs.