Fox Sports and Basketball Australia have confirmed a new three-year partnership which will put women’s basketball back on national television. The broadcaster released this statement summarising the deal:
Launching in time for the 2017-18 season, the arrangement will see a minimum of one game per week, plus every finals match, broadcast live on Fox Sports through to 2019-20.
The new-look competition will run from October to January culminating with a best of three semi and grand final series.
Fox Sports will work with Basketball Australia over the coming months to finalise the scheduling of the weekly broadcast.
The groundbreaking partnership will bring together representatives from across Fox Sports who will work with Basketball Australia to develop and implement a strategy to increase the visibility and sustainability of the WNBL.
This will involve developing commercial models and sponsorship packages, marketing and publicity support, along with helping the league build community initiatives and grow crowd attendance and club memberships.
Fox Sports CEO, Patrick Delany, said, “The WNBL is the longest-running elite female competition in the country. It features incredible athletes, who are strong and fierce competitors. For too long the league has been invisible with no broadcast partner.
“Today’s announcement will ensure that fans around the country will be able to watch these athletes live in action.
“This isn’t just another broadcast deal – it’s a partnership. We are invested in making a difference, and putting women’s basketball in Australia back on the map,” Delany said.
Head of the WNBL, Sally Phillips, said, “It’s a great day for the WNBL and we are thrilled to be entering into this partnership with Fox Sports. For someone who has been involved with the WNBL as a player and administrator over the past 27 years, this announcement is truly amazing. I love this game and I am so excited that our clubs and our athletes will be back in the spotlight receiving the recognition and respect they deserve.
“The WNBL is globally elite and a broadcast partnership provides us with a vital perception piece and communication platform for our sport that has been missing over the past two seasons. I’m so happy for our fans that have missed tuning in each week, we’re back!
“We are truly grateful for the huge leap of faith Fox Sports has taken in partnering with the WNBL for the next three years. The biggest names in Australian basketball are signing on to play in the upcoming season so fans will be exposed to what is recognised as some of the best women’s basketball in the world. There is no better time than now for corporate Australia to capitalise on the support being shown for women’s sport and take a leap like Fox Sports has and get behind the WNBL.”