Covid-19: Ticketing companies negotiate lockdown stormy waters

People started queuing at Fifa ticket offices in Hans Strijdom Street, Cape Town.
People started queuing at Fifa ticket offices in Hans Strijdom Street, Cape Town.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Michael Hammond

Ticketing companies like Ticketpro and Computicket have been forced to negotiate stormy waters during the lockdown as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe.

The cancellation or postponement of events has had a devastating financial blow on businesses that sell tickets but Blue Label Telecoms Head of Investor and Media Relations Nicola White said they are working on new innovations to ensure that Ticketpro  is still functional when the lockdown eventually ends.

Ticketpros is owned by Blue Label Telecoms and they’re often at the forefront of match tickets for Springbok, Protea, Super Rugby and Telkom Knockout matches.

“Yes it will operate after the lockdown. Ticketpros has actively been working on evolving its business to remain relevant during and after the lockdown. 

"We have spent significant time on reviewing our back end, improving our customer-facing processes and we continue to invest in ground-breaking technology for our industry that will take the ticketing business into the future,” White said.

“We intend to come out of the lockdown period stronger and more efficient than ever. We need to be ready for the digital innovations that will come as we all navigate the future. Covid-Zero is but the first step of evolving to life in the new normal.”

Computicket, who fall under the Shoprite group, have also struggled. They are reputed to be South Africa’s biggest ticket retailer, with their strength evident in the handling of soccer matches, long distance bus travel and concert tickets.

In a statement sent to SowetanLIVE, the Shoprite group said Computicket is coping during the lockdown.

“Computicket continues to investigate other innovative business opportunities and will work with its platform partners to focus on the sale of various products and services permitted by the regulations during the different lockdown phases,” the statement said.

“It is expected that domestic travel will resume during the next lockdown phase, whereas events and social gatherings will remain prohibited for some time to come.”

On Friday Ticketpros launched an initiative called Covid-Zero, which is an online streaming platform for musicians, comedians and other artists.While Computicket didn’t provide a direct answer with regards to how financially impacted they will be, White said  Blue Label Telecom’s listing means their results will be available at the end of May.

“Blue Label is a company listed on the JSE. Our financial results will be released publicly following our financial year ending on May 31, 2020,” White said.

“Blue Label is supporting all of its subsidiaries during the lockdown period. Clearly, should the lockdown period go on indefinitely, hard decisions will have to be made but we’re not there yet.”