Expressions of Interest called for new ANZ Championship teams

Netball Australia is calling for Expressions of Interest for additional Australian teams to compete in the ANZ Championship from 2017.

This is the first major outcome of the review process that is being conducted by Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand, who jointly created the trans-Tasman league in 2008.

Under its existing format, the ANZ Championship is contested by five Australian and five New Zealand teams over an 18-week period.

Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer said the ANZ Championship has provided an incredible platform for netball to build its fan base through intra and inter-country rivalry.

“There is no doubt that the success of the competition was a contributor to the spectacular results we saw this year at the Netball World Cup in Sydney and the subsequent Constellation Cup series between Australia and New Zealand, which set new benchmarks for both match attendance and television audiences,” Palmer said.

“Now we need to further capitalise on that success and realise the commercial potential of our sport.

“Here in Australia, that means securing a long-term broadcast partner who we can work with to create an even more dynamic entertainment product that will attract new viewers and fans.

“That means looking at things like competitive balance, rule innovations, and finding new ways of reaching and engaging new audiences and commercial partners.

“We now have five strong, successful and sustainable teams and there is no doubt that we have the capacity for further growth.

“All the research in Australia points to the opportunity for more Australian teams and more home games.”

Netball New Zealand Chief Executive Hilary Poole said “it’s a real positive” to see the competition poised for growth heading towards the 10th season in 2017.

“The league needs to both grow and innovate as we enter the next phase of development of the competition,” Poole said.

“Netball New Zealand remains committed to its current five teams.

“We support Australia’s initiative in recruiting additional Australian teams to the competition and look forward to determining the structure of the competition once they have tested the market and we have further clarification around the broadcast rights from 2017 onwards.”

Netball Australia’s EOI will close in March 2016, and final outcomes of the review are anticipated in mid-2016.