Sky Sports and BBC have been confirmed as the UK broadcast partners for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019.
Sky Sports will be the host broadcaster for the ten-day tournament and will show every game live on across Sky Sports platforms. The BBC will also show every game free-to-air across its TV and digital channels from day four onwards.
Sky Sports has broadcast live netball since 2006, including each of the last three World Cups in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Their agreement with Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 extends this to a fourth tournament and continues Sky’s relationship with England Netball. The main broadcaster of England’s international series, Quad Series and the Vitality Netball Superleague, Sky saw its most successful season in 2018 with viewing figures more than doubling.
Since netball was introduced into the Commonwealth Games in 1998, the BBC has made it an integral part of its coverage. During the 2014 Games, the BBC’s TV coverage of netball across the event reached an audience of five million, and in 2018, 1.5 million tuned in to the netball final to see the England Roses claim their first-ever gold medal in the last shot of the match against hosts Australia. Also broadcast this year were the World Cup qualifiers featuring Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and England’s Quad Series fixture against New Zealand in the build-up to next year’s tournament.
Commenting on the announcement, Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 Chair, Nicky Dunn OBE, said:
“We are delighted to confirm Sky Sports and BBC as UK broadcast partners for Vitality Netball World Cup 2019, as we build momentum towards the tournament.
“We are pleased to be working with broadcast partners who are passionate about women’s sport and look forward to working together to showcase netball and the Vitality Netball World Cup to new and existing audiences, with high-quality and engaging coverage throughout the event.”
Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said:
“A home Netball World Cup is hugely exciting for netball fans in the UK and we’re delighted to be able to bring fans every single minute of the action, on TV and across our social and digital platforms. Netball has gone from strength to strength over the last decade, with Superleague audiences growing and England’s women leading the charge. With a home World Cup to look forward to, we’re certain that’s set to continue.”
Director of BBC Sport, Barbara Slater, said:
“We’re extremely proud to be the free-to-air broadcast partner for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019. This new deal reinforces the BBC’s commitment to ensuring top-class women’s sport reaches the widest possible audience.
“We’ve seen the drama and excitement that major competitions can produce with the heroics of the Roses at the Commonwealth Games. We have no doubt that this World Cup will excite viewers across the UK in equal measure.”
With over 75,000 tickets already sold and hundreds of thousands more fans expected to enjoy the event through the broadcast, the event is already proving to be in high demand. Broadcasters outside the UK are expected to be confirmed and announced by the International Netball Federation at a later date.