Netball Australia has confirmed that commercial broadcaster Ten has not paid a rights fee under its new deal for the sport and is instead effectively being paid by the governing body’s sponsors.
Netball Australia this week signed a two-year rights deal with pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports and Ten. The agreement complements Fox and Ten’s acquisition of rights to the 2015 Netball World Cup, which will take place in Australia, and ensures that more live netball will be broadcast in the country than ever before.
Under the multi-platform deal, Australia’s international Tests and all 72 games of the ANZ Championship club competition, including the new Conference Finals and ANZ Championship Finals Series, will be broadcast on Fox Sports and Ten’s free-to-air channel One in 2015 and 2016.
The agreement marks the sport’s return to Ten for the first time since 2012. The broadcaster previously held Netball Australia’s rights for four years, from 2009 to 2012. Netball Australia chief executive Kate Palmer told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper that Ten had been “guaranteed” a profit from the broadcasts as a result of the sponsorships, in return for giving the sport air time. She added that Ten did not pay for any rights.
Palmer said the arrangement would see netball’s sponsors, such as banking group ANZ and pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse, take out broadcast sponsorships. “They will all take out broadcasting sponsorships with Ten and One,” she added.
Ten’s head of sport David Barham said the broadcaster was “delighted to have netball back on Channel Ten,” adding “it's the largest female participation sport in the country… we're happy to back it and we expect it to rate well.”