Top Five Stories Of 2020: Netball
or the fifth part of the 2020 in review series, Ministry of Sport continues to highlight the top five stories from each major sport in 2020, this time looking at Netball.
The 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season relocated to Queensland hubs for a 14-round regular season, followed by a normal finals’ series played between Nissan Arena in Brisbane, the University of the Sunshine Coast Stadium, and regional Queensland.
The condensed, but still full 60-game 2020 season began on August 1 with limited fans in attendance due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
The 2020 season saw the Suncorp Super Netball competition rake in higher broadcast metrics than ever before, with a 30% increase of average audience on the Netball Live Official App, 10% increase on Telstra TV, and average viewing time up 16% on Nine.
The season saw over five million people watch Super Netball broadcasts on Nine alone, with the Grand Final totalling 930,000 viewers, up in all demographics compared to its 2019 counterpart.
Just last week, the independent State of the Game Review provided eight strategic recommendations for Australian netball, claiming the sport has an “outdated governance system”.
The review was led by former Australian netball captain, Liz Ellis, and suggested Australian netball’s greatest challenge is “the inability of Australian netball to align at all levels on what it wants to achieve and how it wants to achieve it.”
The Melbourne Vixens were crowned the champions of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season, and made history doing so without the support of a Premier Partner, or ‘front-of-dress-partner’.
Netball Victoria general manager of communications, marketing and partnerships, Kristen Penny, along with Netball Victoria business development manager, Aaron Bosse, told Ministry of Sport the lack of a Premier Partner allowed the Vixens to focus on connecting netball to Australians above all else.
Not long after the end of the 2020 Super Netball season, Netball Australia CEO, Marne Fechner, announced she will leave her role at Netball Australia to become the CEO of newly formed, AusCycling.
Just one week later, Suncorp Super Netball CEO, Chris Symington stepped down after two years in the top role to focus on his family life.
These departures have left Netball Australia and Suncorp Super Netball in difficult situations heading into 2021, with both unlikely to name replacements for both roles until the new year, with Super Netball’s current broadcast deal set to expire after the 2021 season and the recent release of the State of the Game Review.
To view part four of the Ministry of Sport 2020 in review series looking at the top five stories of 2020 for basketball, click here, otherwise, keep an eye out on the Ministry of Sport website and social media channels for the next release in the series.