A double-chance for the top two teams has been introduced in a new five-game format for the 2019 -20 KFC Big Bash League (BBL) with Foxtel securing 16 matches exclusively.
The ninth season of the BBL will feature a shorter regular season compared to last year, with most matches falling within the school holidays as the competition promises to provide more family-friendly entertainment than ever before.
The revamped five-match finals system will be played over two weekends, guaranteeing a double-chance for teams that finish first and second in the regular season.
While the new system does raise the possibility that the team finishing fifth of the eight teams could win the tournament, they would have to win four finals away from home in the space of nine days to lift the trophy.
“If a team can go on a run like that at the end of a season, they probably earn the right to win it,” Cricket Australia’s Head of the BBL, Alistair Dobson, said at the launch of the 2019-20 BBL fixture.
“You’d have to win four finals to win it from fifth.
“Also, another team being a part of it keeps the end of the (regular) season alive.
“We’re really excited about the finals.”
Fans are also set to receive full coverage of the season, with Foxtel and Seven covering the Big Bash action.
Seven will broadcast 45 matches across the season, including the finals series and Seven’s Executive Producer of Cricket, Chris Jones, said: “The compacted BBL|09 Fixture is a winner for fans and our viewers, offering matches almost every night of the season through the school holidays live and free on Seven,” he said.
Foxtel will broadcast all 61 matches, including 16 matches exclusively.
General Manager of Fox Cricket, Matt Weiss, said: “At Fox Cricket we’re over the moon about being the only place to televise every game of BBL|09 – Gilly, Warnie, BJ, Kerry O’Keeffe, Isa Guha, Mark Waugh and the rest of our crew are counting the days to summer.”
One problem that has arisen due to compressing the regular season by almost two weeks is that the match between Brisbane Heat and the Renegades at the Gabba on the Sunday night of January 19 will be played directly against an Australian ODI against India in Bengaluru, meaning the pay-TV provider will need to split the matches between channels.
Tickets to various KFC BBL|09 matches will be available on August 15.