Cricket SA budgets for a R40-million loss ahead of partnership with SABC

CEO Thabang Moroe of CSA and COO Chris Maroleng of SABC during the CSA media briefing on T20 League at CSA Head Quarters on September 26, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
CEO Thabang Moroe of CSA and COO Chris Maroleng of SABC during the CSA media briefing on T20 League at CSA Head Quarters on September 26, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Cricket South Africa has budgeted for a R40-million loss ahead of the yet-to-be named T20 League to be staged in partnership with the SABC.

While SABC chief operations officer Chris Maroleng was reluctant to reveal the financial details of the partnership‚ CSA CEO Thabang Moroe was more forthcoming.

“The R40-million loss that was given to us is going to involve the operation of the league‚ paying for production‚ salaries for players and match officials‚ equipment for players and match officials in terms of kit‚ logistics‚ lodging and essentially everything that you'd need to run a cricket tournament‚” Moroe said.

“We were told that given the projections we have made in terms of the revenue‚ the leeway that we've been given is a R40-million loss and this is just exercising prudence here given that CSA is faced by a difficult four-year financial cycle.

"We currently pay for all the production on our products‚ including internationals so we can keep the production in-house.

"We have been told by the powers that be we have to stretch the rand as much as we can.”

The tournament‚ which will be broadcast on SABC‚ will take place from November 9 to December 16‚ leaving just over a month's gap before the start of the tournament.

CSA and SABC announced their joint exclusive partnership in a statement on Tuesday afternoon and the deal is covered by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will run for three years.

The tournament will consist of six teams that will be announced in due course.

Maroleng said their partnership with CSA in regards with the tournament was a mutually beneficial one and it has given the corporation a different idea in terms of how they will approach the rights acquisition matter for future events.

“At this stage‚ we're not really in a position to talk about the specifics around the commercials because the Memorandum of Understanding with CSA and their past engagements with partners doesn't allow us to divulge the pure commercial terms of the contract.

"What I can say is that it is a lucrative opportunity for the SABC‚” Maroleng said.

“The challenge in the past was that we didn't acquire rights in a way that allowed us to derive commercial value.

"We aren't in a position to disclose the commercial aspects and we are in a partnership with CSA that is commercially viable.

"The partnership has been done in a way that doesn't expose the SABC to commercial risk.

"This also presents us with a framework that can help us conclude rights in the future that doesn't expose the SABC to risk.”

Moroe also said they were expecting to make a loss in the first season of the tournament as it was a market trend for T20 tournaments to lose money before recouping those losses in future tournaments.

Moroe also said they haven't received notification from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in regards to the hosting of next year's Indian Premier League.

India's general election takes place next year and presents a potential security clash as the tournament has to be held earlier than normal to allow players to join their national teams ahead of next year's World Cup that starts on May 30.

“We haven't received any communication as far as the BCCI is concerned in regards with the bringing of the Indian Premier League here so we don't know‚" Moroe said.

"From an interest point of view‚ they're looking at both South Africa and Dubai.

"At the top of my head‚ I can say yes‚ we'd be happy to have it here but there are various factors we need to look at.

“There's our domestic season and the fixturing in that regard and the impact our grounds will have to suffer in terms of hosting additional content.

"There's also the preparation for the World Cup.”

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