Home » ‘Needs more oxygen’: Call for Amazon to share women’s World Cup with free-to-air network

‘Needs more oxygen’: Call for Amazon to share women’s World Cup with free-to-air network

‘Needs more oxygen’: Call for Amazon to share women’s World Cup with free-to-air network

“The feedback from cricket fans in Australia for our first major event, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, has been really positive and we are delighted to expand our live sports offering through the Major League Cricket,” said Hushidar Kharas, head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand.

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Prime first got involved in Australian cricket by co-producing documentaries about the men’s Test team, commissioning two follow-up series after the first in 2020 became the most watched sports documentary in the streaming service’s history.

However, the men’s T20 World Cup struggled for traction in winter, not helped by a broadcast schedule heavily weighted towards the Indian market, with marquee matches, including the final, being played at 10.30am local time in the Caribbean.

Despite this scheduling, Indian audiences for the tournament were down relative to last year’s 50-over World Cup, although the 54 million-strong streaming audience for the final kept watching until the finish, unlike the larger (59 million) but more transient audience that saw Australia overwhelm India in the ODI decider in Ahmedabad.

There is no Australian precedent for Amazon sharing live sport with free-to-air networks, but the company had previously done a deal with Channel Four in the United Kingdom to show the 2021 Women’s US Open tennis final.

Under the previous ICC broadcast rights deal for Australia, Foxtel on-sold Australia’s ODI World Cup games, plus the semis and final of each tournament, to Nine (owners of this masthead). T20 World cup matches, however, were exclusive to Foxtel unless played in Australia, as was the case in 2022.

Entering its 10th season, the WBBL is behind only the AFL, NRL and men’s BBL as the most watched domestic leagues in the country – well and truly in front of its equivalent women’s competitions in the football codes.

The league will begin on October 27 with the Adelaide Strikers hosting the Brisbane Heat at Adelaide Oval. The league will also continue with its “stadium series” of matches on major grounds, including games at the Gabba, the SCG and the MCG in November.

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