Cricket Australia records $16.9 million loss despite hosting T20 World Cup
Cricket Australia (CA), the governing body of Australian cricket, has reported a loss of $16.9 million for the financial year 2022-23.
This financial outcome is noteworthy, especially considering that Australia hosted the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup in October and November last year, which generated an additional $43 million in profit for the organisation.
The $16.9 million loss marks the third-highest in the past decade, with larger losses of $52 million in 2016-17 and $43 million in 2019-20, the latter heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CA experienced a 9 percent year-on-year increase, reaching $427 million. However, this growth was partially offset by a 5 percent rise in operational costs.
Surprisingly, this financial loss occurred during the best-attended Australian cricketing summer in history, with CA reporting that 2.4 million fans attended matches throughout the season, including the T20 World Cup, where Australia was eliminated in the group stage. Both the World Cup and the men’s domestic Twenty20 Big Bash League (BBL) games set various attendance records for Australian cricket.
CA attributed the loss to the absence of the iconic Ashes series against England, which traditionally guarantees high attendance, referring to it as, “an expected low point in the revenue cycle”. The extra profit from the World Cup helped offset the reduction in media rights and match income during a non-Ashes summer, along with increased player payments, strategic investments in the BBL and higher travel costs post-COVID-19.
“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,” Mike Baird, Chair of Cricket Australia, commented on the results.
“As a global leader, we believe Cricket Australia 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.”
Twenty20 cricket’s inclusion in the program for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028 and its expected continuation in the 2032 games in Brisbane highlight the sport’s global appeal.
In the 2022-23 period, CA struck key deals, including a new domestic media rights agreement with Foxtel and Seven West Media, a seven-year deal with Star India, and a five-year contract with the Australian Cricketers’ Association.
“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,” noted Nick Hockley, CA’s Chief Executive.
“We are enormously thankful for the collaboration of all those across Australian cricket including players, volunteers, fans, and our valued broadcast, commercial and government partners who working together to bring cricket to audiences across Australia and around the world.”
In recent months, CA has secured sponsorship agreements with Liquorland, Legends (a premium experiences company) and the Japanese sportswear brand ASICS.
The Australian men’s national cricket team is currently participating in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.