Melbourne: Cricket Australia (CA) is desperate to save its multi-million dollar broadcast deal with ‘Channel Seven’. In the process, Cricket Australia has overshot its COVID-19 bio-bubble budget. It now stands at a whopping 30 million Australian dollars. Included in the bio bubble is the marquee tour of India and the Big Bash League being a part of it. India are scheduled to tour Australia at the end of this year for a four-Test series.
“Cricket Australia’s bio-security budget for the summer has ballooned past AUD 30 million. It is because the governing body seeks to protect its broadcast rights with stringent protocols amid a spectacular breakdown in relations with ‘Seven West Media’,” the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ reported Friday.
Recently ‘Channel Seven’ threatened to walk away from its AUD 300 million plus broadcast rights. It wanted to do as it felt that Big Bash League (BBL) wasn’t being given priority by the CA brass.
“Seven’s threat to walk away from the game has heightened CA’s determination to safeguard the season against an infection. This includes the international tour and BBL,” the report stated.
in May, CA’s former CEO Kevin Roberts projected a bio-bubble budget of AUD 10 million. However, the cost has increased three-fold after a second wave of coronavirus infections hit Australia. The state of Victoria was the worst affected.
“…it has emerged costs have reached three times that amount since the second wave of the virus. The bill covering everything from charter flights to booking out whole sections of hotels and the purchase of COVID-19 test kits themselves,” the report further stated.
This Australian summer with India’s tour is very important for CA. The CA has been in severe financial crisis since the start of the pandemic. It had to lay off a majority of its staff as part of cost-cutting measures.