Nine signs deal to take netball to prime-time and share sponsorship revenues

netball australia logoThe Nine Network has penned a significant new deal with Netball Australia where the broadcaster will share sponsorship dollars with the code as part of a drive to bring it more into the mainstream.

Under the new five-year agreement, Nine will show two matches each week in prime-time from next season, while Telstra has taken digital rights for the sport to show every game, live, on mobile devices as well as rights to broadcast two exclusive matches per week through its Telstra TV service.

However, instead of committing to upfront fees Nine has instead opted to share its revenues from sponsorship and in-game advertising with the code, in a deal which appears to show a commitment to growing the sport’s footprint.

Amanda Laing

Laing: “Nine and Netball Australia will work together to commercialise all the netball assets”

Nine’s managing director, Amanda Laing, said in a statement: “The other aspect of this deal which makes it so unique is that Nine and Netball Australia will work together to commercialise all the netball assets, whether that be signage and on-court assets or broadcast integration opportunities, and will share the revenue from such endeavours.

“We are both working collaboratively to grow the game and sponsorship engagement and revenue. It’s a great outcome for the athletes, the fans, the sponsors and the viewers at home.”

CEO of Netball Australia, Kate Palmer, described the deal as: “The most significant broadcasting rights agreement in the history of Australian women’s sport”.

"The most significant deal in the history of Australian women's sport": Palmer

“The most significant deal in the history of Australian women’s sport”: Palmer

She added: “It is truly transformative. This partnership will deliver higher salaries for players, higher distributions to the clubs, enhanced sponsorship opportunities for Netball Australia and individual teams, and unprecedented exposure for netball.”

The deal will also see a restructuring of the netball league with New Zealand teams exiting and three new Australian teams being added to the mix, two of which look set to be attached to AFL side Collingwood and NRL side the Melbourne Storm.

Telstra will also offer exclusive tickets to matches through its rewards program.

Michele Garra, executive director Telstra Media, said in a statement it expects good take-up of the offering from netball fans.

“Last weekend our AFL and NRL apps delivered over 2.2 million live streams and we have no doubt that netball fans will be similarly enthusiastic about keeping up with all the action of their favourite sport, as it happens,” Garra said.

“We are also very excited about broadcasting two live netball games per week into Australian homes using Telstra TV.

“Our customers have embraced streaming entertainment at home and we are seeing terrific growth in the number of Telstra TVs out in market. By the end of June, we expect to have more than 200,000 devices in our customers’ homes and it’s very exciting that we can now give them live viewing of a leading Australian sport straight to their television.”

Australia goalkeeper, Sharni Layton, will appear on the ‘Ask an Athlete’ panel at Mumbrella’s Sports Marketing Summit in July, while another session will look at the rise of women’s leagues and their impact on the sporting landscape.

Click the link below to see the schedule revealed so far and to buy your ticket.



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