Friday, April 04, 2008

Lessons from other sports: You want a piece of me - Netball

Netball may well have done the deal of its sporting history. After surviving alongside hockey as the sport everyone plays but few watch, netball has signed up to Fox Sports to create an Australia - New League. And the sport is wrapped. They have gone from intermittent coverage from ABC radio and TV to mainstreaming on Fox. Fox have already set about publicising the teams and stars.

While rugby union and basketball are struggling to maintain audience and keep their clubs afloat, netball may be on the brink of new growth with a sharp and commercial product.

1 comment:

David V. said...

Netball pretty much has its niche, which looks like is prudently being built upon.

Rugby Union is in deep trouble, at least in Australia. The Australian Rugby Championships failed partly because the traditionalist clubs hated it. Union is a code that relies (like cricket) on the fortunes of international sides for popularity, completely unlike the other football codes whose drawing power is primarily at club level. But there are very real problems at the game beyond our shores, let's not kid ourselves there. They've shot themselves in the foot spectacularly since the 2003 RWC.

Basketball is a sport which is well-established, of course, worldwide. But the worldwide popularity of the NBA in the late 80s and early 90s was carried by Jordan, Barkley, Olajuwon, etc and you get the feeling that the game hasn't been quite the same since. Yes, there'll always be interest and there's always going to be the occasional Australian making it to the NBA (Bogut being the latest example). The women's game in Australia appears to be somewhat healthier, owing to their international success.