Sky Sports and England Netball ramp up coverage with multi-year broadcast deal

All of this year’s Netball Superleague games will be broadcast on Sky Sports’ TV and streaming platforms, as the league and the broadcaster announce the biggest ever media deal in England Netball’s history.

As part of a new multi-year broadcast partnership, every match of the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) 2021 season will be broadcast across Sky Sports and England Netball platforms, giving the competition its greatest visibility to date.

This deal ensures the sport can continue to bring in new audiences, building on the momentum around audience growth that it has seen in recent years.

The Netball Superleague will be returning on 12 February 2021 featuring 11 teams, with the addition of newcomers Leeds Rhinos. The 2021 season will feature some big-name signings from across the world of netball, ready to showcase their skills on court and make their mark on the competition as netball fans celebrate the return of the domestic game on home soil.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic the decision was made to host the Netball Superleague behind closed doors across two venues this season, to enable strict and consistent COVID-19 protocols to be in place for all games, supported by an extensive season-long testing programme across the league. The season will get underway at Studio 001 in Wakefield for the first nine weeks and move to the Copper Box Arena in London for the remaining fixtures.

Matches will be available on Sky Sports linear (Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Mix), the Sky Sports YouTube channel or England Netball’s YouTube channel. Sky will also make highlights available, allowing fans to catch up with the best of the action whenever, wherever they want.

Rob Webster, Sky Sports managing director, said: “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.”

Fran Connolly, CEO of England Netball, said: “It is such a pleasure to be able to announce this new deal with Sky Sports. Over recent years they have been able to capture huge moments in our sport and bring fans closer than ever to netball and I can’t wait to see that continue.

“We were delighted to bring elite netball back to the court during our recent Vitality Netball Legends Series, that 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.

“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. I am very much looking forward to our ongoing relationship with Sky Sports and hope to see more netball history made together in the coming years.”

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