Cricket South Africa forecasts R654m loss over 4 years

Currently, CSA’s major sources of income stem from broadcast deals, sponsorship, and International Cricket Council funding.

FILE: Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Cricket South Africa (CSA) told the parliamentary sports portfolio committee that they project a loss of R654 million in their next four-year financial cycle.

CSA operates on a four-year planning cycle from one World Cup to the next and financial forecasts for the current cycle ending in April 2022 paint a bleak picture.

Their “anaemic” projected growth is due to inadequate Future Tour Programmes (FTP) content and challenging broadcast and sponsorship landscape.

Added to this, CSA has significantly stepped up their development programmes in order to redress the historic shortcomings in CSA’s development programmes. This year CSA has spent R340 million on cricket development.

According to CSA CEO Thabang Moroe, the four-year cycle forecast does not include the Mzansi Super League but the league could be a solution in their quest for new revenue streams.

“The projected loss is forecast without the Mzansi Super League, that’s just your normal Cricket South Africa losses over the four-year period. We are working on various projects to try and reduce those losses as well attract new revenues, which is now the Mzansi Super League”

Currently, CSA’s major sources of income stem from broadcast deals, sponsorship, and International Cricket Council (ICC) funding. The broadcast deals that come with FTP makes up almost 80% of CSA’s revenue and their fixtures have been set up until 2023. Essentially, India is the big prize for any host nation as a hefty broadcast deal is almost guaranteed, thereafter England and Australia.

Therefore, the bleak nature of the FTP forces CSA to admit they will suffer in the next financial cycle. For example, the 2017/2018 summer including tours from international cricket powerhouses India and Australia raked in the cash for CSA which subsequently saw them make a net profit of R350 million.

However, the incoming tours involving Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the 2018/2019 will fail to make the financial impact of the previous year.

According to Moroe, India is the only nation to receive an improved broadcast deal while England (ECB) and Australia (CA) have had to settle for less recently.

CSA’s negotiations on a broadcast deal are set to occur in the next two years so it is clear the body does not expect a sizeable offer from the likes of SuperSport.

The FTP is crucial for CSA’s coffers and Moroe says South Africa’s relationship with other cricket federations is cause for optimism.

“We continue working on our relationships with our key members. The relationships are getting stronger as time goes. So, I am hoping when we start working on the FTP, it will essentially reflect what I am saying.”

Moroe also indicated the number of visitors from the BCCI and IPL to South African shores are indicative of a healthy relationship. The IPL might be played in South Africa next year depending on the date of India’s elections.

CSA has also bled sponsors of late, Momentum has pulled out of the sponsorship of the Proteas women side while Sunfoil has done the same with four-day domestic cricket and Test cricket.