Cricket Australia, the governing body for cricket in Australia, has reported a financial deficit of $16.9 million in its 2022-23 fiscal year. This announcement comes as a surprise, considering the organization generated a substantial $42.5 million in revenue from hosting the highly successful 2022 T20 World Cup, which featured record-breaking attendance figures. Let’s delve into the details of this financial report and explore the factors contributing to the deficit.
Financial Setback Despite T20 World Cup Success
One of the major highlights of the fiscal year was Cricket Australia hosting the 2022 T20 World Cup, which witnessed impressive crowds, including a remarkable 92,000 fans at the India-Pakistan match held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Despite the revenue generated from this marquee event, the board still found itself facing a financial loss.
Cricket Australia had expected a financial deficit in this fiscal year, primarily due to it being a non-Ashes year. Additionally, the organization secured a substantial seven-year, $1.512 billion media rights contract with Foxtel Group and Seven West Media for broadcasting Australian cricket from 2024 to 2031. Alongside this, they inked a new seven-year agreement with Disney Star for Indian broadcasting rights.
BBL Success and Women’s Achievements
Post-Covid, the Big Bash League (BBL) reaffirmed its status as the most-watched sports league in Australia on a per-game linear TV measure. It attracted an average of 532,000 viewers per match. Meanwhile, the Australian women’s cricket team achieved significant milestones, including victory in the 50-over World Cup and securing a Commonwealth gold medal.
Cricket Australia reported a substantial 24% growth in participation in the Woolworths Cricket Blast program, with over 25,000 girls aged 5 to 12 registering for cricket. In a broader context, community cricket participation almost reached pre-Covid levels, with numbers increasing from 598,931 to 627,693. The organization highlighted investments in player payments and the Big Bash League as key contributors to its expenses.
Sharing Success with Players and States
The impressive performance in the T20 World Cup resulted in an increase in player revenue share and sharing of the upside with the States and Territories. Funding reached an all-time high of $120 million, with total expenses (excluding player payments) increasing by 5%. This increase reflects the full delivery of programs, higher travel costs post-Covid, and investments in the Big Bash League and the new grassroots cricket system.
Cricket Australia’s latest financial report showcases a complex financial landscape, with success in some areas counterbalanced by challenges in others. The organization remains committed to growing the sport at all levels and delivering outstanding cricket experiences to fans across the country.