South Africa’s ambitious T20 Global League is still almost a month from kicking off, but there is already some bad news, with Cricket South Africa (CSA) saying on Friday (October 6) that the tournament is expected to lose money for the first two seasons.
No broadcast deal has yet been signed yet, but Thabang Moroe, CSA vice-president and acting chief executive, said negotiations had advanced well. “It is just a matter of agreeing the finer details,” he said.
Moroe said a deal in the region of $US 17-18 million was being sought, but admitted that CSA were expecting a net loss of about $US 25 million, while the eight franchise owners would lose about $US 1.5 million in the first season.
Chris Neznani, the CSA president, and Moroe briefed reporters for the first time since Haroon Lorgat stepped down as the board’s chief executive last week, which media speculation linked to the board’s displeasure with Lorgat’s negotiations for the league.
“We are working very hard to ensure the Global T20 league launches on November 3. The key issue is to get a broadcast deal on the table,” said Neznani.
The league has been planned as South Africa’s equivalent of the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash League. Seven of the eight teams are owned by foreigners (mostly from the Asian subcontinent) and several leading international players as well as all South Africa’s top players are committed to taking part in it.
Moroe said owners had been briefed on the developments, or lack of them. “They are all committed to staying in the league and the owners are happy to accept there will be losses for the first two years,” he said.
Moroe said negotiations for the title sponsors were also taking place, but admitted that “everything hangs on a broadcast deal”. AFP