The Cricket Australia (CA) governing body has recorded a substantial loss of $16.9 million for the 2022-23 financial year.
The figure comes despite Australia having played host to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup last October and November, which brought in $43 million in extra profit for the governing body.
The $16.9 million loss is the third-highest over the past 10 years, behind $52 million in 2016-17 and $43 million in 2019-20 (with that financial year being heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic).
In terms of revenue, that increased by 9% year-on-year to $427 million, although this was partially offset by a 5% increase in running costs.
The loss also comes despite 2022-23 having been the best-attended Australian cricketing summer in history, according to CA data. The governing body counted 2.4 million fans as having attended matches during that period, including at the T20 World Cup (in which Australia failed to make it out of the group stage).
Indeed, games at the World Cup and at the men’s domestic Twenty20 Big Bash League (BBL) broke various records in terms of Australian cricket attendance.
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Referring to the fact the season did not contain an edition of the iconic Ashes series against England – which always guarantees high attendances – CA said the loss was down to “an expected low point in the revenue cycle.”
It added that the World Cup extra profit “helped offset the reduction in media rights and match income in a non-Ashes year, an increase in player payments strategic investment investment in the BBL and higher travel costs post-Covid-19.”
Mike Baird, chair of Cricket Australia, commented following the unveiling of the results: “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 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 maximizing the benefits of our status as an Olympic sport to broaden the game’s horizons.”
Cricket was one of five sports recently added to the event program for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, and it is expected that it will then stay on the schedule for the 2032 games, which are being hosted by Brisbane, on Australia’s east coast.
In terms of key deals struck across 2022-23, meanwhile, a new domestic media rights agreement was sealed with Foxtel and Seven West Media, a seven-year deal was struck with Star India, and CA also tied up a five-year contract with the Australian Cricketers’ Association.
Nick Hockley, the governing body’s chief executive, said: “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.
“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.”
Over the last couple of months, CA has tied up sponsorship agreements with Liquorland, premium experiences company Legends, and Japanese sportswear brand ASICS.
The men’s national side is currently taking part in the 2023 ICC Cricket World in India.