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SKY TV backs Netball in New Zealand for a further 5 years

SKY TV backs Netball in New Zealand for a further 5 years

SKY has extended its commitment to Netball in New Zealand for a further five years.

The new deal gives SKY the rights to broadcast Silver Ferns Test Matches, the New Zealand Elite Domestic League, Beko Netball League and Domestic Events up to and including 2021, as well as the popular TV Show, Netball Zone.

An exciting new international component will follow the New Zealand Elite Domestic League, with further details to be announced in due course.

SKY has been the home of Netball in New Zealand since 2007 and this deal further cements Netball’s standing in the New Zealand sporting landscape.

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) chief executive Hilary Poole says this is the most significant NZ broadcast deal in the sport’s history.

“Today’s announcement is a defining moment for Netball and women’s sport in New Zealand,” Poole said.

“This is the first time in NNZ’s history we have been in the position to secure a five-year broadcast deal, which is testament to the growth and popularity of the sport in New Zealand and commitment of our leading sports broadcaster SKY.

“We’re looking forward to working with the SKY team to continue to deliver world class Netball experiences and content for our passionate fans around the country.”

SKY’s chief executive John Fellet says they’re looking forward to working with NNZ to bring this competition to life, with all matches to be broadcast live on SKY Sport.

“We see Netball as an incredibly valuable part of our sports programming and support NNZ 100% in the formation of this new-look competition,” Fellet said.

“This deal further cements SKY as the home of sport in New Zealand. To have secured Netball on a long-term deal means we have locked in the big four; Rugby, Cricket, Rugby League and New Zealand’s leading female sport, Netball.”

New Zealand Netball Players Association executive manager, Stephanie Bond says they have been working closely with NNZ in the formation of the new competition.

“The players are genuinely excited about the new-look competition and believe it is the best step forward for Netball in New Zealand. It will continue to provide opportunities for NZ players to play at an elite level and against international opponents," Bond said.

The new competition, replacing the ANZ Championship in New Zealand, will be a triple round robin featuring the current five New Zealand teams plus a new team based in the greater Auckland area.

Teams will play 15 round robin games, including Super Sundays featuring all six teams in action at the same venue, before it culminates in a two-game Finals Series with the top three.

This means more matches in NZ, and more NZ v NZ clashes that will build the NZ v NZ rivalry.

Games will be played on Sunday afternoons at a family-friendly time, which has proved successful in 2016 from an attendance and viewership perspective. Monday night Netball will return, as well as a brand new timeslot on Wednesday nights.

NNZ and Netball Northern have agreed, in principle, the sixth NZ team to be added to the competition will be based in greater Auckland. Details around the location, team name and coach appointment will be announced in the near future.

“This is an exciting opportunity to have a second team in the greater Auckland area,” Netball Northern chairperson Dianne McAteer said.

“We all recognise the size of the current player base in the region and the potential to increase Netball in New Zealand’s fastest growing market.”