Goodbye SABC as Cricket SA seeks Mzansi Super League lifeline_1

With the Mzansi Super League predicted to make a loss of more than R100 million next season, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have decided to make drastic changes to the T20 tournament, informed sources have told The Citizen. The MSL made a loss of at least R80 million in its first year in 2018 and last year’s tournament would almost surely have had even more of a deficit. For this reason, cash-strapped CSA have reportedly decided to ditch SABC as the broadcast rights-holders, for which they paid nothing, and have put control of the teams under the auspices of the six...
With the Mzansi Super League predicted to make a loss of more than R100 million next season, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have decided to make drastic changes to the T20 tournament, informed sources have told The Citizen.

The MSL made a loss of at least R80 million in its first year in 2018 and last year’s tournament would almost surely have had even more of a deficit.

For this reason, cash-strapped CSA have reportedly decided to ditch SABC as the broadcast rights-holders, for which they paid nothing, and have put control of the teams under the auspices of the six existing franchises.

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SuperSport will now come on board and provide a massive financial boost to the tournament and, even though the competition will be expanded from six to eight teams, it is now forecast to make a loss of around R43 million, which has been deemed much more palatable by CSA.

Highlights packages are being earmarked for free-to-air broadcast on the SABC.

While a return of top-class T20 cricket is now on the cards for Bloemfontein, with the Knights running a team, the champion Paarl Rocks will still play a part and the East London/Border region are also believed to be getting a side.

CSA’s plan is to take the tournament to all centres in the country.

A change in the commercial model will now see each franchise selling their rights to sponsors, whereas in the past CSA were centralising control of the economics and keeping the meagre sums they brought in for themselves.

As a franchise coach also told The Citizen, it was becoming a problem for the teams that many of their star players were split up and turning out for different franchises in the MSL.

“We’re excited that the main T20 competition will now be run domestically. In the MSL previously a lot of our players would miss out and others were playing elsewhere. It causes a lot of grief in the changeroom so we are very happy with the change,” the franchise coach said.

It has been speculated that the draft will also be cut down to just 40 players, each franchise choosing five additions to their squad.

CSA are also launching a new 40-over competition for the 15 provinces, with the franchise players involved, as well as a T10 festival league that will take the game into rural communities.

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