Women’s Ashes moved to Nine’s main channel
Channel Nine has shifted Sunday’s third one-day international in the Women’s Ashes series from its offshoot, 9Gem, to the main channel, a decision the Australia captain, Rachael Haynes, labelled “awesome”.
The promotion comes after a strong start to the series for Australia, both in terms of results and television audiences. Haynes’ side have won the first two ODIs to take a 4-0 points lead over England. The first match – a thriller that went down to the final over in Brisbane – was broadcast on 9Gem and attracted a national average audience of 235,775, with a peak of 424,872.
A Channel Nine spokesperson confirmed those figures were considerably higher than usual programming on 9Gem in those time slots, and good enough to switch the third ODI, and the final Twenty20 match, to be played at Canberra’s Maunka Oval next month, to the main channel.
“To have this whole series covered in that way is great to be part of as a player,” Haynes said after her starring role in Australia’s 75-run victory at Coffs Harbour on Thursday. “I think we’ve seen players really step up as well.
“I don’t think you’ve seen the best from both sides just yet but I think there’s lots of momentum now, particularly for our group and hopefully we can carry that on.”
The multi-format series comprises three ODIs, a four-day Test match and three T20s and is decided by a weighted points system. Another Australian victory on Sunday would give the hosts a 6-0 points lead, with just a further two required from the remainder of the series to retain the Ashes.
“We’re very grateful to the Nine Network for their support in moving Sunday’s match to Channel Nine,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said. “The support of the Australian women’s cricket team for the Ashes has been phenomenal and we very much want to provide as many opportunities as we can to ensure we keep pushing the fantastic story of this squad and their performances.”
However, the potential series decider – the historic day-night Test starting on 9 November at North Sydney Oval – remains unavailable to television viewers. The four-day showpiece event will be broadcast only via a Cricket Australia live stream.