T20 Global League to cost CSA dearly

Losses run­ning into hun­dreds of mil­lions of rands likely, with broad­cast deal yet to be signed

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Telford Vice

THE in­creas­ingly trou­bled T20 Global League (T20GL) will cost Cricket South Africa (CSA) more than half the money it has in the bank. Asked at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day about the scale of the losses the T20GL would in­cur‚ CSA act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Tha­bang Moroe reeled off a list of star­tling fig­ures.

“At the mo­ment we’re look­ing at a net loss of US$25-mil­lion [R343-mil­lion]‚” Moroe said.

“For the big teams – in Joburg‚ Pre­to­ria and Cape Town – you’re look­ing at a loss of $1.5-mil­lion [R439-mil­lion].

“From a broad­cast point of view‚ com­bin­ing lo­cal and global rights‚ you’re look­ing at an ac­cu­mu­la­tive fig­ure of $17-mil­lion [R233-mil­lion] to US$18-mil­lion [R247-mil­lion]‚ roughly.”

CSA re­ported a credit bal­ance of R655.4-mil­lion in their 2016-17 an­nual re­port‚ which was tabled in April.

Con­sid­er­ing the fi­nan­cial calamity the T20GL is be­com­ing‚ and the fact that CSA have com­mit­ted R350-mil­lion to in­fra­struc­ture up­grades over the next three years‚ the game could be star­ing at an empty bank­ing ac­count.

Moroe ad­mit­ted CSA had been forced to lower their ex­pec­ta­tions of what the tour­na­ment would earn.

“Ini­tially, we were look­ing at a to­tal net rev­enue of US$32mil­lion [R439-mil­lion] as far as TV and cen­tral spon­sor­ship are con­cerned. At the mo­ment it will be in its 20s.

“We have cut down‚ but not to wane the qual­ity of the tour­na­ment. We’re mak­ing sure our mem­bers are not the ones who get hurt the most.

“We’re con­fi­dent we can help them re­gain those losses. CSA and the team own­ers will still suffer losses.

“Hope­fully‚ de­pend­ing on how well we ne­go­ti­ate with the broad­cast­ers‚ the team own­ers will break even in year three.”

Nel­son Man­dela Bay Stars owner Ajay Sethi said he had made peace with the fact that his team would run at a loss for the first two years.

“We have com­mit­ted and it is like any other busi­ness, takes three years [to make a profit]. Why would this be dif­fer­ent?” Sethi said yes­ter­day.

One of the T20GL’s eight fran­chises has al­ready changed hands‚ but Moroe promised sta­bil­ity.

“All own­ers are com­mit­ted to stay­ing in the league‚” he said. “The own­ers are happy to ac­cept those losses for the first two years.”

But they won’t be happy that‚ with the first ball sched­uled to be bowled on Novem­ber 3‚ broad­cast deals have yet to be agreed and spon­sors signed.

“We have a few com­pa­nies that are wait­ing on the fringes‚” Moroe said.

“Ob­vi­ously ev­ery­thing is tied to the broad­cast deal. When you go and see a spon­sor, the first thing they ask is‚ ‘Where is my brand go­ing to be seen?’

“We are busy ne­go­ti­at­ing all broad­cast deals. It’s just a mat- ter of agree­ing on finer de­tails.

“As soon as I’ve shaken hands with all the var­i­ous CEOs glob­ally, we will be ready to an­nounce the finer de­tails of those deals.”

Board sources gave an as­sur­ance last week that the broad­caster would be se­cured by this Tues­day‚ then Thurs­day.

But Moroe was con­fi­dent CSA were keep­ing their eye on the prize: “We’re tak­ing knocks ev­ery­where to make sure we do not wa­ter down the prod­uct. The prod­uct is cricket and the ex­pe­ri­ence in the sta­dium.

“We want to make sure we pro­tect that. Ev­ery­thing around that we’re wa­ter­ing down.”

Moroe‚ CSA’s vice-pres­i­dent‚ stepped into a void cre­ated last Mon­day‚ when the board and CEO Ha­roon Lor­gat parted ways for rea­sons that have yet to be re­vealed of­fi­cially.

“I will serve CSA with pride and make sure we de­liver on the prom­ises we’ve made . . . and that prom­ise is de­liv­er­ing this league. We will start on Novem­ber 3,” Moroe said. – TimesLIVE

“Ev­ery­thing is tied to the broad­cast deal. When you see a spon­sor, the first thing they ask is, ‘Where is my brand go­ing to be seen?’”

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