Desperate to save its multi-million dollar broadcast deal with Channel Seven, Cricket Australia has overshot its COVID-19 bio-bubble budget which now stands at a whopping 30 million Australian dollars with 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 as 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.
Recently Channel Seven threatened to walk away from its AUD 300 million plus broadcast rights as it felt that Big Bash League 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 in an international or Big Bash League bubble, the result of which could be a loss of content and a disastrous breach of television contracts,” the report stated.
While in May, CA’s former CEO Kevin Roberts projected a bio-bubble budget of AUD 10 million, the cost has increased three-fold after a second wave of coronavirus infections hit the country with the state of Victoria being worst affected.
“…it has emerged costs have reached three times that amount since the second wave of the virus, with 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 which has been in severe financial crisis since the start of the pandemic and had to lay off a majority of its staff as part of cost-cutting measures.