Network Ten and Multi Channel Network (MCN) have announced a record number of partners for the anticipated 2017-18 KFC Big Bash League, which starts Tuesday December 19, 2017.
The key brands backing the T20 coverage on Ten include returning sponsors KFC, Bunnings and AHM, plus new commercial partners Finder.com.au, Rexona, P&O, Holden, Vodafone and Crownbet.
Another large sponsor has been signed but cannot be named at this stage.
With just one week to go until the start of the summer action on Ten, fans are gearing up for a bumper schedule of 43 matches played across 48 days, including six double-headers. With all 43 matches to be broadcast in primetime, viewers will not miss a minute of the action.
Network Ten executive, Big Bash, David Barham, said: “Ten’s partnership with Cricket Australia has gone from strength to strength over the past four years and our commitment to the KFC Big Bash League has taken the thrilling competition to record levels.
“We look forward to once again bringing viewers the most exciting and contemporary cricket commentary team, including new recruits and British cricketing legends Michael Vaughan OBE and Graeme Swann, who will add a whole new dimension to our innovative coverage.
“Last season the KFC Big Bash League consistently dominated its timeslot and averaged 1.03 million viewers nationally. The new season is set to be even better, with Ten broadcasting eight more matches than last summer, making this our biggest Big Bash yet,” he said.
Network Ten executive general manager, revenue and client partnerships, Rod Prosser, said: “Network Ten’s world-class coverage and dynamic commentary team have firmly established the KFC Big Bash League as an essential part of summer.
“Ten has changed the way cricket is broadcast in Australia and we’re delighted so many of our commercial partners want to be involved in this family-friendly television event, which last season reached 10.4 million people in the capital cities and 4.5 million regionally.
“Interest in the Big Bash is at an all-time high and we can’t wait to present innovative and powerful campaigns that are sure to deliver results for our clients,” he said.
MCN national sports sales director Martin Medcraf said: “This year we’ve seen the greatest success for the KFC Big Bash League yet. In addition to our 10 major partners, we’ve nine supporting partners, increasing our total number of partners by 30% year-on-year.
“Our success is testament to the KFC Big Bash League’s broad demographic appeal and family-friendly environment, meaning we can extend partnerships and integration opportunities beyond traditional cricket partners. Each year integration becomes more important as clients increasingly look to align with premium properties and the KFC Big Bash League is one of the strongest sports properties available over summer.
“Some of the outstanding integration we’ve created in collaboration with our partners includes Rexona’s “Brand Pressure Moments” visual units during and reactive to live play; videos celebrating heroes from local cricket clubs around Australia with P&O; the greatest crowd catches thanks to AHM; pre-match and team lineups with Holden; and player comparison data during the matches presented by Finder.com.au,” he said.
“Bunnings will make sure you catch the critical moments with wicket replays and KFC will also be executing a viewer competition to coincide with their Bucketheads campaign.”
TEN’s commentary team for the 2017-18 KFC Big Bash League season will again be led by multi-award nominated presenter Roz Kelly and feature cricket royalty Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh and Damien Fleming, plus Mark Howard, Lisa Sthalekar and Mel Jones.
In addition to Michael Vaughan and Graeme Swann, Australian cricket legend Andrew Symonds, current Australian cricket team coach Darren Lehmann, former New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum and crowd favourite Kevin Pietersen all return to the commentary team this summer.