Channel Seven has come under fire for their decision to relegate Saturday’s Women’s Big Bash Final to their secondary channel 7mate.
The Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder will take part in the WBBL06 final at North Sydney Oval starting at 7:10pm AEDT.
However, viewers looking for the game on free-to-air will be forced to look a little bit harder with the host broadcaster opting to show the match off their primary channel.
The decision follows Channel Seven’s decision to broadcast a cricket-themed episode of The Front Bar on their main channel when the WBBL semi final was playing on 7mate on Thursday.
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Channel Seven attempted to renegotiate their broadcast agreement with Cricket Australia a couple of months ago this summer over a perceived lack of product.
And many fans and cricket journalists a like were quick to point out the double standard by the network for not showing the showpiece final of domestic Australian women’s cricket on their main channel.
If I ran Channel Seven I would refuse to pay our contracts while complaining that there’s not enough cricket early in the season, then if three WBBL finals got scheduled in prime time I would hide them on our secondary channel and repeat Disney movies
— Geoff Lemon Sport (@GeoffLemonSport) November 28, 2020
So… after The Front Bar was broadcast on 7 during the 2nd #WBBL semi on 7mate, tonight the Final will be on 7mate while 7 will show Frozen, a film aimed at… families and young girls in particular? 🤔
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) November 28, 2020
Showing the #WBBL final on a secondary channel is a bizarre way to show the investment Seven are making in the sport. The fact it was on 7mate the other day when a comedy show about cricket was on main channel was odd. Having Frozen on 7 tonight with WBBL on Mate is equally bad.
— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) November 28, 2020
I don’t understand it – it’s a Saturday night (non-ratings night) in summer (non-ratings period)
And you can’t even use the excuse of “it needs to be there because of HD” anymore
Just whack it on the main channel!
— Matt Coleman (@_MattColeman) November 28, 2020
‘7mate’ even started trending on Twitter around Australia with so many punters taking to the platform to vent their frustration.It’s not the first time this year a television network has come under fire for relegating women’s cricket to their secondary network.
Channel Nine was heavily criticised for moving the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup to 9GEM in March.
As for what is showing on Channel Seven‘s main channel instead of the WBBL final? The animated movie Frozen.
According to AAP’s Scott Bailey, Channel Seven believe there is no difference between their primary and secondary channels in terms of viewership.
For what it’s worth, I spoke to 7 yesterday and they say there’s no difference between the