The coffers of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) took a major dip in revenues last year.
Audited financial statements revealed that revenues declined by almost 50 per cent, dropping from US$48 million to US$24.2 million.
It led to a loss of US$5.4 million compared to a profit of US$7.6 million the previous year.
The fall-off in revenue has been attributed to reduced income from television rights and a decrease in ticket earnings because of a shorter international season in the Caribbean.
In his report to the WICB’s recent annual general meeting, president Dr Julian Hunte said the finances remained stable notwithstanding the net loss during the period under review that ended September 30, 2010.
Hunte also pointed out that the International Cricket Council’s future tours programme provided years of significant variations in revenue and profitability based on the relative strength of the home viewership market and travelling fan contingent of visiting teams.
“The year in review offered further evidence of the challenges posed by the future tours programme when hosting teams with weak television markets and with little or no travelling fan support for the visiting teams,” Hunte said.
“South Africa and Zimbabwe tours sandwiched the hosting of the ICC World Twenty20 2010 in the Caribbean.
“Low ticket prices and the impact of results against quality opposition made for a challenging home series not assisted by the relocation of matches from Trinidad to Antigua and from Jamaica to Trinidad at the last minute due to safety concerns.”
While media rights for 2009 brought in US$29.2 million, the figure dropped to US$5.2 million last year.
Additionally, ticketing revenue was US$2.4 million compared to US$4.2 million the year before when England, accompanied by large groups of supporters, were in the region.
The WICB boss also pointed out that the Caribbean hosted 27 days of international cricket in 2010, a significant reduction from a record 45 days in 2009.
In spite of the overall decrease in revenue, the WICB was helped by funds it gained from ICC events.
The figure moved up from US$4.7 million to US$8.3 million largely because of the staging of the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.
The other major sources of revenue, including sponsorship and merchandising rights and licenses, remained on par.
With the drop in income, the WICB also managed to reduce its expenditure, which went from US$40.5 million to US$30.6 million, of which the biggest chunk was almost US$8 million in players’ payments.