SA20 signs a historic broadcast agreement

By signing a ten-year contract with Viacom18 for an unknown sum to broadcast the competition in India, the SA20 has overcome the barrier at which the Global League T20 and the Mzansi Super League failed. The CSA and the network have also agreed to telecast South Africa’s bilateral matches throughout the course of the following ten years.

An insider described the agreement as “game-changing” for South African cricket and said it would ensure that SA20 returned a profit in the first year as opposed to the initial forecast of five years. The agreement is understood to be less than the SA20’s asking price of US$ 100 million for a ten-year period.

SuperSport, which also holds a 30% share in the league along with 50% of it from CSA and the remaining 20% from former IPL CEO Sundar Raman, will broadcast the competition in South Africa. The Global League T20, which included club owners from the IPL and the PSL and was supposed to debut in the 2017–18 season, never took off since, purportedly, no television arrangement materialized. However, Haroon Lorgat, the former CSA CEO, has long argued that a broadcast agreement was already in place and that the league was instead hampered by boardroom politics.

That season, Lorgat and CSA fell out, and Thabang Moroe, who succeeded him, initially tried to bring about the GLT20 but later gave up. The Mzansi Super League was then established by CSA under Moroe without any private ownership. The six-team competition was staged twice, in 2018 and 2019, but failed to land a significant broadcast agreement. Instead, it was shown by South Africa’s free-to-air broadcaster, the SABC, which did not receive any compensation from CSA in exchange for airing the competition.

The competition cost CSA more than R100 million (about $5 million USD) each season, which was financially unviable. In 2020, Moroe was sacked for inappropriate behavior, and the league was shut down during the epidemic. Because of the financial difficulties caused by the Moroe era and the decline in international fixtures, CSA launched its third try at a franchise T20 event, the SA20, in April of this year.