Cricket Australia, on Thursday, reported a loss of USD 16.9 million for the financial year 2022-23 despite earning USD 42.5 million from hosting the 2022 T20 World Cup. Even as the matches set a new attendance record last year, which included 92,000 spectators for the match between India and Pakistan at the MCG, and a sold-out crowd of 53,866 for the BBL final between the Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat at Perth Stadium, the cricket board had expected a loss since it was a ‘non-Ashes year’.
The board also signed a USD 1.512 billion seven-year media rights deal with the Foxtel Group and the Seven West Media to broadcast cricket in Australia from 2024-31 and a new seven-year deal with Disney Star for the right to broadcast Australian cricket in India. part from having the crowds return to the stadium after the COVID-19 pandemic, BBL was once again the most-watched sports league in Australia on a per-game linear TV basis, with an average of 532,000 viewers. During this period, the Australia women’s team won the 50-over World Cup as well as the Commonwealth gold medal. A five-year MoU (memorandum of understanding) was signed, which increased their share in the revenue from USD 80 million to USD 133 million.
The participation for Woolworths Cricket Blast increased by 24% from 56,464 to 69,879, with more than 25,000 girls between ages 5 and 12 registered to play cricket. Overall, the participation in community cricket reached near-record pre-CoVID rates, with the numbers increasing rom 598,931 to 627,693. Cricket Australia stated in a release, “The upside in the T20 World Cup performance has driven an increase in the player revenue share and a sharing of upside with the States and Territories, with funding at an all-time high level increasing by $7m to $120m.”
They further added, “Total expenses excluding player payments increased by 5% reflecting full delivery of programs, higher travel costs post Covid, and investments in the Big Bash League and the new grassroots cricket system.” Speaking on the development, Mike Baird, Cricket Australia chair, said, “”This has been a year of high achievement for Australian Cricket with the completion of the media rights deal, the MOU and other significant initiatives putting the game on a strong footing, while our national teams again performed brilliantly on the global stage.
“Cricket has reached an important moment with the continued emergence of franchise cricket creating both significant challenges and enormous opportunities as interest in our sport grows. As a global leader, we believe CA is well placed to play a strong role in shaping the future of cricket including fulfilling our commitment to the primacy of Test cricket and maximising the benefits of our status as an Olympic sport to broaden the game’s horizons.”
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia CEO, added, “The completion of media rights agreements with the Foxtel Group, Seven West Media and Disney Star gives Australian Cricket unparalleled coverage and reach, whilst the negotiating of a new player MOU which caters for changing dynamics in the global game also provides confidence and certainty across Australian Cricket.
“During what was our highest attended summer on record, we hosted a successful T20 World Cup and made strategic investments in the Big Bash Leagues and kids participation that will benefit the game for years to come.”