Whatever broadcast deal is reached, there needs to be a regular, “destination” time for netball on tv, and the programming needs to be overhauled to be more professional – it’s not enough to cover one Superleague game each week, because the fans of the other eight teams will zone out or not watch. Needs to be more like Football Focus imo, or at least a show where there is clear recognition of the other teams taking part. And it would be great to think that there could be regional tv coverage for the local games which is something that the BBC could potentially deliver for its audiences.
If Superleague is the product that is used to drive awareness, then for heaven’s sake make sure that there are regular presenters who understand the sport and don’t refer to baskets or points (the Sky mob are guilty of this). Katherine Merry or Caroline Barker could front it, and please please please stop the pointless “walk round the court” which does no one any favours.
The next tier of competition needs looking at too – how many promising youngsters are dropped because they aren’t in a Superleague franchise? National Clubs is the best proving ground for potential players, and needs more support.
Underpinning all this is a need to generate significant commercial income, and that needs to be done professionally – we can’t keep having these piecemeal agreements with small brands. Netball has a huge potential audience, which isn’t reached by other strands of sport, and could be a real jewel for someone significant (like a supermarket) – but it needs to have measurable targets (not just about international achievement but audience figures and outreach opportunities) to attract people in. That needs thinking about carefully, and also a proper, costed plan which will deliver for all members.