Season 2018 of Suncorp Super Netball will showcase the country’s most elite female athletes in the best netball league in the world, with the league made readily available to fans through Nine and Telstra, and family friendly timeslots.
Announced alongside the fixture today, two games per round will be aired live on Nine’s main channel, with two games per round live and exclusive to Telstra TV, with all games live on the Netball Live App.
“The fierceness and finesse of Suncorp Super Netball is second to none, and this will be on show from the opening round of our 2018 fixture,” said Netball Australia CEO Marne Fechner.
Rivalries will be reignited from round one, with the inaugural grand final replay between premiers Sunshine Coast Lightning and GIANTS Netball, and Melbourne Vixens hosting Magpies Netball in ‘The Battle.’ State pride on the line between the Adelaide Thunderbirds and West Coast Fever and old foes will meet again, with NSW Swifts hosting the Queensland Firebirds.
“2017 was a huge success for Suncorp Super Netball, and we will continue to build on this in 2018 with the support of our broadcast and league partners,” explained Fechner.
“We’ve learnt a lot from our inaugural season, and recognise that the league has opportunity for greater growth in more family friendly timeslots,” she explained.
Whilst further details of any changes to league rules are yet to be released, Netball Australia’s Game Plan committee is examining further opportunities to highlight the sport entertainment nature of the game.
“Everything is back on the table, to showcase the jaw-dropping athleticism and incredible strength of our athletes, whilst entertaining fans,” said Fechner.
Telstra will continue to build on the unprecedented demand by sports fans to watch games on the go, by offering its customers data free, live streaming of the season’s games on mobile devices in the Official Netball Live App. Fans will also be able to tune in via the dedicated Netball app on Telstra TV, allowing those with a Telstra TV device to stream two live, exclusive HD matches per week. The app will also feature live game-play statistics simultaneously on the big screen.
Michele Garra, Executive Director, Telstra Media said, “We go into the new season with an unparalleled demand to watch the game live, echoed by a growth in both Live App audiences and Live Pass subscriptions.
“We’re proud to offer Netball fans better access to the game as it unfolds. Telstra offers better ways for sports fans to access the content they love, through innovations such as live scores and player and team stats. Alongside the Live Pass, Telstra TV will house all Netball content, including live, full match replays and video highlights on demand, in one place”.
Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone, said: “Following on from last year’s amazing success, where the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final was broadcast on the main channel in prime time to a peak audience of just under 700,000, we will be giving Netball an even bigger push in 2018.
“Wide World of Sports will place Netball front and centre on the Australian Sporting landscape with two games Live and Free on Nine’s main channel every week from April to August.”
Fans will experience two new venues in the 2018 season, the International Convention Centre, Sydney and the Gold Coast Sport and Leisure Centre, Gold Coast.
The home and away season will be played over 14 weeks, with all eight clubs playing each other once at home, and once away. A three-week Finals Series will follow, to be contested by the top four-ranked teams.
The 2018 Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final will be held on the weekend of 25 August.
Fans will be able to catch every match live on the big screen with two matches on Channel 9 and two matches on Telstra TV (exclusive to Telstra broadband customers). Every match will also be available live via subscription in the official league app, Netball Live.