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SBD Global/December 7, 2012/Events and Attractions

Big Bash League Will Lose More Than $10M, But Media Rights Deal Could Ease Loss

A confidential Cricket Australia report revealed that this summer's Big Bash League will lose more than A$10M ($10.5M), according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. However, the organization's "obsessive dedication" to promoting the tournament aims to recoup those losses through a new media rights deal. The documents show the "high-risk strategy, which saw even bigger losses last year." The various states are "struggling under the burden" they have to carry with the BBL. The impact on the states "has been hard." Queensland was forced to cut funding to its grassroots levels. The BBL offers "few returns for the states, although teams reaching the Champions League can cash in." The Sydney Sixers won this year's Champions League tournament, gaining a A$2.5M prize. The players took half, but Cricket New South Wales kept the rest as the owner of the franchise. BBL Exec GM Mike McKenna defended the cost involved. He said, "The establishment of a vibrant and successful KFC T20 Big Bash League is an important part of CA's broader strategy." The situation is not "all doom and gloom, but the returns for the BBL gamble are not assured." The forecast loss of A$10.56M for the '12-13 BBL reported to the state CEOs at a private meeting last month "did not include any portion of the present broadcast deal that could be attributed to the revamped tournament." CA is "anxious to auction" the TV rights and has told the states that the Nine Network "might enter the negotiations" and put pressure on Fox Sports, which owns the present T20 program (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/7).
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