South Africa keeps Momentum, but awaiting return on T20 investment
Cricket South Africa has retained one of its leading sponsors, Momentum, the domestic financial services company, but has still to conclude major commercial deals for its new Twenty20 competition starting in November.
Momentum has extended its deal to remain the title sponsor of one-day cricket in South Africa and the naming sponsor of the Momentum Proteas, the national women’s team, by five years until 2022.
Momentum came on board in 2012 and gives its name to South Africa’s home one-day internationals, the domestic One Day Cup involving its six provincial teams and various school-level developmental initiatives.
The deal will come as a boost for CSA, which announced at its recent annual general meeting that it was expecting a loss of R159 million ($12.1 million) for the current year.
The organisation’s bank balance is expected to be swelled by home international series against Australia and India in 2018, but there are also high hopes for the T20 Global League, the new franchise-based Twenty20 competition that will involve top South African and overseas players.
This is due to start on 3 November, 2017, but there is not yet a title sponsor nor any broadcasting rights deals.
CSA’s financial report showed that the T20GL generated R1.2 million, but incurred expenses of R4.5 million, in the year to the end of April, meaning a net loss of R3.3 million.
Broadcasting negotiations in South Africa have been complicated by the fact that SuperSport, the pay-television operator, initially claimed that it already held rights to the Twenty20 competition through its existing deal covering international and domestic cricket in the country.
Both sides have said that discussions are continuing with the expectation of an agreement being reached shortly.
The T20GL does at least now have a full quota of owners for its eight franchises after Preity Zinta, the Indian Bollywood actress, last Friday completed a deal to acquire the Stellenbosch Monarchs.
Zinta, already the co-owner of the Indian Premier League’s Kings XI Punjab, replaced Brimstone, the South African investment group, which withdrew its interest last month.
At the AGM, CSA president Chris Nenzani insisted the governing body remained “in a very healthy financial position,” stating that its income balance after taking into account the loss for the year came to R655 million.
He added that budgetary forecasts were based on a four-year rolling plan as a vast majority of income comes from TV revenue from incoming tours and that CSA anticipates “a very strong financial year in 2018" as a result of the India and Australia series.
Nenzani also cited investments in major capital projects to develop cricket in South Africa and the construction of a dedicated CSA headquarters, which he said would save money in the long term.