Nine “Disappointed” As Foxtel Swoops In On Netball Rights

Nine “Disappointed” As Foxtel Swoops In On Netball Rights
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Netball Australia has announced a new five-year broadcast deal with the Foxtel Group, ending a five-year relationship with Nine.

Under the new Foxtel broadcast deal, every game of the Suncorp Super Netball competition will be available live and ad-break free during play on Foxtel Group platforms including Foxtel and Kayo Sports.

Australian Diamonds matches will also be available for free as ‘Kayo Freebies’ – an initiative recently launched by the streaming service.

The new agreement will commence in 2022.

Speaking today, Netball Australia interim CEO Ron Steiner said the new deal will help netball in Australia grow and will also provide financial stability for the sport.

“This is a landmark deal for the sport and provides the foundation for Suncorp Super Netball to grow and enhance its status as the best elite netball competition in the world,” Steiner said.

‘’It also provides financial security that will enable netball’s member organisations to nurture what is Australia’s number one female team participation sport. Netball’s mission is to empower women and girls and connect communities, and the wide-ranging impact of this deal will drive those outcomes.’’

Super Netball League Commission Chair Marina Go said: “This agreement follows intense interest and negotiation with several parties who were keenly aware of netball’s unique position within Australian sport.

‘’We are delighted to be partnering with such a strong and well-regarded organisation and look forward to bringing our fierce and exciting sport to the Foxtel Group’s audience including Kayo’s rapidly growing customer base.

‘’There are many winners in this deal, and that includes the world’s best netball players who will enjoy contract security and some of the best conditions of any female athletes anywhere.’’

Foxtel Chief Content and Commercial Officer Amanda Laing said: “We are incredibly pleased to be joining Netball Australia to play our part in consolidating Suncorp Super Netball as the world’s number one elite netball competition.

“By bringing the free and paid broadcast and digital rights together, we can establish a more consistent competition schedule which will strengthen audience engagement. We have a reputation for innovation and will use our production expertise and marketing capability across Foxtel and Kayo to support netball’s continued growth.

“Suncorp Super Netball players are extraordinary athletes and striking ambassadors for their sport.  We will work with the players, clubs, sponsors and the whole netball community to raise their profile and deliver the recognition and rewards which they deserve.”

Nine responds

And while both Foxtel and Netball Australia has lauded the new deal, Nine – who will still broadcast all of this year’s netball – has expressed its disappointment in the move.

“We are disappointed that after working with netball to grow the game for the past five years we find they have taken the deal with Foxtel which is supported by government money which we don’t have access to,” said a Nine spokesperson.

Last year the government announced it would provide Foxtel with $10 million in additional funding to promote coverage of women’s and other under-represented sports.

Nine signed on for a five-year deal with Netball Australia which started in 2016.

Update:

Foxtel has issued the following statement in response to Nine’s comments, denying that the pay-TV broadcaster had used government money to support the deal:

“Netball is the premier elite women’s sport in Australia and has a well-established presence on television. The finances received by Foxtel in relation to the under-represented sports grant, which currently expires mid-2022, have not been used to acquire the rights to the announced by Netball Australia commencing in 2022,” a Foxtel spokesperson said.

“The comments made by a Nine spokesperson regard this matter are poorly informed and simply wrong.”

 

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