I was asked earlier today to pull the numbers for the Netball that was on last night. The Silver Ferns vs England match was the #1 most watch show on Sky Sport 3. It drew in 149,440 viewers for the live broadcast and then another 112,690 saw it delayed on Prime.
This got me to thinking. Now that Sky is broadcasting the Silver Ferns games, how do the numbers compare to when it was broadcast live on free to air?
When the Silver Ferns played Jamaica on the 18th of August, 2010, TV One had an audience of 510,670. When they met again on the 21st it was 295,110. Between the 29th of August, 2010 and the 5th of September, 2010, the Silver Ferns played Australia 3 times and had audiences that ranged from 390,260 to 573,540 viewers.
Granted we’re in the middle of the Rugby World Cup and our focus seems to be elsewhere but does that mean we’re not interested in how our most beloved women’s sport is performing? Or is it that it was only England we were playing and it’s those Australians that we really like to watch being beaten?
As it turns out, no. A paltry 142,000 saw the Silver Ferns play Australia on the 9th of June and then 118,170 delayed on Prime. The second game a few days later drew a slightly bigger audience but it was nowhere close to the free to air figures.
With the Sky figures being somewhere between 25% and 50% of what the free to air figures used to be, where does that leave the future of Netball?