The TV rights for the T20 Global League have been belatedly bought by SuperSport for $5.8 million, according to sources close to Cricket South Africa.
SuperSport’s original bid, thought to be for $10 million, was turned down by Haroon Lorgat, the Cricket South Africa CEO who was axed last week, and, with the tournament starting in just a month’s time, the bid has now been cut by the broadcaster due to the increased expenditure they will incur having to set everything up at short notice.
Figures of $20 million for the rights were apparently bandied about by Lorgat to the CSA board, but with the former CEO not getting any foreign broadcasters to sign on, it led to his firing last week.
CSA are now in the process of drastically cutting down on the costs of the tournament, which is vital as they are only getting about a third of the income they were budgeting for.
Excluding CSA’s chief financial officer Naasei Appiah from the negotiations has now come back to haunt not just Lorgat but the tournament itself.
CSA are counting their lucky stars, though, that the acting CEO, Thabang Moroe, is believed to have a strong relationship with Multichoice Group CEO Imtiaz Patel, the former SuperSport head mentoring him during his early days in cricket administration.
Appiah, Moroe and CSA Commercial Manager Clive Eksteen are all believed to have been part of the negotiation team that sealed the deal with SuperSport.
Getting a title sponsor for the tournament will be CSA’s next priority, but they seem to have averted the initial fears of the T20 Global League failing before the first hurdle.
CSA are also busy negotiating a payout to Lorgat, whose contract ran until 2019, believed to be anything between R3-6 million.