Earlier this year, Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand announced that 2016 would be the last season of the ANZ Championship, with each country opting to establish its own national league from 2017.
For Australia, the new national league will be an eight-team competition with the five existing teams being joined by the Sunshine Coast Lightning (a joint venture between Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club and the University of the Sunshine Coast), Collingwood Magpies Netball, and a second, yet-to-be-named Netball NSW team (in a strategic alliance with GWS Giants)
It was announced in May the Nine Network and Telstra will be the broadcast partners, with a landmark five-year broadcast deal. Two live games and two delayed games will be played on the Nine Network (free-to-air). The remaining two live games will be available on Telstra TV and all games will be broadcast live through the Netball Live app.
The new league will commence in February 2017, with games to be played on Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. All teams will play each other twice – once at home and once away – and the Finals Series will be contested by the top four ranked teams over three weeks.
There are plenty of exciting announcements expected in the coming weeks and months, including the name of the league; the fixture; and team lists. Athlete contracting commenced on 19 September, with all teams required to finalise their lists of 10 by Friday 30 September. All news will be posted here on netball.com.au – keep an eye out for all the latest updates!