Sky Sports has secured the media rights to the Vitality Netball Superleague, after penning a deal with England Netball.
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been described as the biggest deal in the governing body’s history, every match from the sport’s top flight will be shown across the UK broadcaster’s platforms, along with England Netball’s YouTube channel, when the Superleague gets underway on 12 February.
Matches will be available on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Mix channels, and the Sky Sports YouTube channel. The pay-television network will also air highlights across its digital and linear platforms.
Rob Webster, Sky Sports Managing Director, remarked: “Sky Sports has been a long-term partner of netball since 2006. We are delighted to be expanding upon our existing deal to bring the thrill of the game to our audiences for years to come.
“Popularity for the sport has increased in recent years as viewing figures saw 550,000 people tune in to watch England’s Vitality Roses in 2019’s thrilling Netball World Cup semi-final.
“At Sky Sports our goal is always to be the best partner to sport and we hope by working together we can help netball continue to grow in future.”
This year, 11 teams will compete in the Superleague after Leeds Rhinos joined the division. However, games will be played behind closed doors at two chosen venues – Studio 001 in Wakefield and the Copper Box Arena in London – as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We were delighted to bring elite netball back to the court during our recent Vitality Netball Legends Series, which saw the Vitality Roses play an international All Stars side made up of talent from the Vitality Netball Superleague, and we cannot wait to continue that momentum and give our netball family something to look forward to,” Fran Connolly, England Netball Chief Executive, commented.
“This partnership is a huge milestone for netball in this country and underlines the continued interest in our sport. The increased visibility this will bring will shine a light on the incredible role models in our game and help to inspire a nation of women and girls to take to the court.”