Cricket Australia’s media, broadcast and marketing fees improve in FY2021

Despite challenges from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket Australia has reported total revenue of $414.73 million, for the FY 2020-21 year including $282.288 million from media, broadcasting and marketing, and increase of nearly $50 million on the FY2020 results. However, the revenue was not enough to keep it in the black, with a small loss reported for the period.

Commercial sponsorships at the sporting body came to $73 million, down from $77.3 million the year before, while government payments via JobKeeper totalled $3.56 million.

Media, broadcast and marketing costs totalled $33.8 million, while biosecurity cost, such as quarantine for players and officials came in at $23.63 million.

Broadcast partners Foxtel, Kayo, Seven West Media, ABC, SEN, Sony Pictures Network and others were thanked by management for the ongoing support as the organisation navigated the season.

“Our television and radio partners overcame the challenges presented by COVID-19 to produce outstanding coverage for fans right across the country,” stated the annual report.

Source: Cricket Australia Annual Report 20-21

“The production teams of our broadcasters deserve particular mention for their technical feats in maintaining a high standard of coverage in a difficult operating environment.

“To our loyal and long-standing commercial partners – Alinta Energy, KFC, Commonwealth Bank, Toyota, Woolworths, ASICS, Gillette, HCL, BKT, Qantas, Marsh and Gatorade – we thank you for your continuing support. And the warmest of welcomes to our new partners Vodafone, Dettol, Weber, Four Pines, Nike, Cadbury, Nu Pure and Rexona.

“We look forward to building on the experience, learnings and teamwork, to deliver similarly uplifting 2021-22 season featuring the Men’s Vodafone Ashes series, Women’s Commonwealth Bank Ashes series and the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.”

According to the report, views on the YouTube channel have increased 101% worldwide during the period, and 20% in Australia year-on-year, with subscriber numbers soaring 57% to 7.85 million users.

“Fans tuned into the television and radio coverage in record numbers during the 2020-21 season,” stated the report.

Men’s Dettol ODI and T20I ratings grew by 77% from the last time India toured in 2018/19, and game two of the Dettol T20 series was “the most-watched cricket game ever on subscription television in Australia”.

The Vodafone Border-Gavaskar Test was the highest-rating non-Ashes series since 2014-15 and the highest-rating Test series in history on Foxtel. Across all Foxtel and Seven platforms 28 of 31 Test sessions delivered an average audience of more than one million viewers nationally.

A one-off men’s Test against Afghanistan, scheduled for Hobart in late November, is likely to be postponed due to comments made by the Taliban around cricket as a sport for women and girls not being supported in Afghanistan. Government members expressed concern about the test going ahead in light of the new regime in Afghanistan.

If the test is cancelled, there could be implications for the ongoing legal dispute between Seven West Media and Cricket Australia.

Foxtel and Seven first partnered in 2018 on a six-year deal with Cricket Australia worth $1.18 billion, with Seven contributing around $82 million annually as part of the agreement.

In August last year, Seven’s CEO James Warburton began voicing frustration around Cricket Australia’s handling of the sport in light of travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic. At that time, Warburton called CA “a bumbling, stumbling administration”

Seven took the first steps to exit from the remainder of the broadcast deal (at that time with $450 million outstanding and four years left), issuing Cricket Australia with a legal letter advising of its intention to exit the agreement over an alleged breach of contract.

In August this year, the Federal Court directed Cricket Australia to hand over pre-discovery documents agreed on by the two bodies as part of the network’s preliminary discovery action.


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