Cricket Australia anticipates a mammoth $120 million in lost revenue and added costs over the coming 12 months as the organisation continues to battle the coronavirus epidemic.
The upcoming summer of cricket has already been heavily impacted by COVID-19, with several international series either postponed or abandoned.
The Australian men’s team was scheduled to face Afghanistan in a historic Test match at the WACA in November, but the five-day game was scrapped, along with ODI fixtures against New Zealand, Zimbabwe and the West Indies.
Although the upcoming series against India will generate close to $300 million in broadcast revenue, CA is bracing for a considerable drop in crowd attendance and added biosecurity costs.
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CA director Paul Green conceded at Thursday morning’s Annual General Meeting: “As all would be aware, we are facing some significant financial exposures in FY21 as a result of the impacts of COVID.
“These fall into three categories — impacts to match-day revenues associated with crowd restrictions and some reduced content; impact to other revenue streams arising from the broader economic environment; and additional biosecurity costs associated with hosting the season in a COVID environment.
“Based on current estimates, these factors could have a financial cost to cricket of up to $120 million in FY21.”
Steve Smith of Australia.Source:AAP
As reported by The Age, CA’s total reserves have dipped from $116 million in mid-2019 to $73 million.
In June, CA stood down approximately 14 per cent of its workforce in the hope of cutting costs, and state associations were also forced to reduce staff.
CA chairman Earl Eddings said in a statement: “We recognise that this is a difficult time for Cricket Australia employees, particularly for those staff members affected by these redundancies and their families.
“However, our responsibility is clear: to navigate a path for cricket through this period of uncertainty and disruption to ensure we come out the other side sustainable in the short term and prosperous in the long term.
“Throughout COVID-19, the need to work closely with the cricket community and to move quickly as circumstances have changed has never been more important.
“With increasing clarity about the impact of COVID-19, we have managed the financial impact on our organisation, our people, our partners and players.”
CA remains in discussion with Seven West Media regarding their contract, which could result in a 20 per cent discount on the $75 million annual broadcast rights.
In August, Channel 7 threatened to terminate its $450 million deal with four years remaining on the contract.
David Warner of Australia.Source:Getty Images
Despite the disruptions, CA chief executive Nick Hockley is adamant the 2020/21 summer will feature plenty of “compelling” cricket.
“We have got a perfectly good contract with our television partners right now and we are working through all of our arrangements with various issues,” Hockley said.
“We have been very consistent that we will do everything we possibly can to deliver a full and compelling summer of cricket. In terms of production and promotion, both domestic partners have been really supportive and we will continue to have discussions as we have been through the course of the winter.”
INDIA TOUR OF AUSTRALIA 2020-21
First ODI — November 27, SCG
Second ODI — November 29, SCG
Third ODI — December 2, Manuka Oval
First T20 — December 4, Manuka Oval
Second T20 — December 6, SCG
Third T20 — December 8, SCG
First Test — December 17-21, Adelaide Oval
Second Test — December 26-30, MCG
Third Test — January 7-11, SCG
Fourth Test — January 15-19, Gabba
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