SA Rugby: Return of Crowds Vital to Save Sport from Bankruptcy in 2022

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SA Rugby will take the opportunity in front of a governmental sports portfolio committee to lobby for the return of crowds on Wednesday, the Daily Maverick reported. SA Rugby has kept the sport afloat over two COVID-wracked years, but it won’t be able to survive another year like the previous two. That is the dire warning from the governing body, which it will take to Parliament when it does a regular update to the portfolio committee on sport. “SA Rugby has been in ICU for the past two years due to the cancellation or prescribing of revenue-generating events,” SA Rugby’s presentation warns. “Income in 2020 was 39% down on 2019. 2021 saw some recovery led by broadcast revenues but we are still 21% down on 2019 income levels. It’s now two years and two days since a South African rugby team was last able to sell unrestricted tickets. The professional game – and by extension all rugby – is in extreme crisis. Essential restrictions must be lifted to stop the haemorrhaging.” In 2019, SA Rugby’s combined broadcast (R752-million) and sponsorship revenue (R347-million) was R1.1-billion. In 2020, because of the suspension of tournaments, tours and competitions due to the global pandemic, income plummeted to R668-million (R411-million broadcast and R257-million sponsorship). Read more.