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?

Sky TV and Netball New Zealand have reached a deal which will see all international and domestic netball broadcast on Sky.

Previously TVNZ owned the rights to broadcast home tests played by the Silver Ferns but Netball NZ chief executive Raelene Castle has confirmed that a four-year deal has been signed.

Castle said that Netball NZ had been in discussions with both Sky and TVNZ over the past four or five months over the broadcasting deal.

Sky will now screen international and domestic netball until at least 2015, with free-to-air coverage going to Prime.

Source: Herald

7.30pm Thursday 2 September on One

Toni Street hosts live coverage from Wellington of the international between the Silver Ferns and Australia.

The game will also be available on TVNZ OnDemand.

TV One brings international netball back to primetime tonight when our very own Silver Ferns host the Australians live from Wellington in the second game of the Constellation Cup.

Up for grabs is not only the title of best in the world but also much-needed confidence heading into the Delhi Commonwealth Games in October.

Australia narrowly conquered the Ferns in the first game over in Adelaide last weekend but with home advantage this time around, our girls may well have the edge.

Join the One sport team led by Toni Street as they bring you live coverage of the second test between the Silver Ferns and Australia at 7.30pm from Wellington.

The International Netball Series between the Silver Ferns and Australia will screen LIVE on TV ONE with the first test in this much anticipated series getting underway this Sunday afternoon.
The afternoon game LIVE from Adelaide will begin at 5pm (NZT) which will mean the delay of the news on Sunday evening.  A half hour bulletin of ONE News will be broadcast at the conclusion of the netball, expected to be around 7pm.
The second test will screen on Thursday September 2nd at 7.30pm from Wellington and the third is scheduled for Sunday September 5th at 4pm from the Vector Arena in Auckland and will have concluded by 6pm.

7:30pm Wednesday, August 18 on TV One

The three-month netball fest is underway and ONE Sport presenter, Toni Street is loving every minute of it.

“With the Commonwealth Games fast approaching the stakes are even higher for the Silver Ferns. Everyone will be desperate for court time, to push their case for that coveted starting seven,” Street says.

The Silver Ferns first test against medal contenders Jamaica gets underway in Christchurch tonight and Toni hosts LIVE coverage of the test on TV ONE from 7:30pm.

The New World International Netball Series promises back-to-back test action until mid-October. The Silver Ferns have a packed international schedule against Jamaica and Australia ahead of the Commonwealth Games in India.

“The next few months is ideal preparation for the Commonwealth Games, the Jamaicans play a very flamboyant, aerial style game, the Aussies play flat and fast, the Silver Ferns will be out to get the perfect combination of both styles”

Toni is a former age group Taranaki netball rep who hung up her short pleated skirt a few years ago but her interest in and understanding of the game is just as keen as it’s always been.

She’s particularly interested in how the players will perform in the lead-up to the games in India, she explains, “one of the most exciting things about this season is that there are so many options for the starting line up, particularly down the defensive end, the return of Anna Scarlett and Leana de Bruin really puts the pressure on the current defensive line, no-one’s place is safe”

Alongside Street tonight are commentators Jenny-May Coffin, Julie Coney and Kiri Wills calling the game and Jordan Vandermade providing courtside reports.

Was this the question TVNZ was wanting to answer when they sent out their daily viewership digest: In the clash of the codes between rugby and netball, which platform had the most viewers tuning in to watch New Zealand lose?

Both teams lost.  The All Blacks lost the Tri-Nations and the Australians beat us in the netball but the comparison between the ratings is what is important, right?

496,220 tuned in to endure another dismal All Blacks performance while 473,990 saw the Silver Ferns go down to Australia.  Fairly close figures.

One must wonder how much bigger that rugby viewership would have been had it been screed live on free to air.

One of the teams acknowledged with a Qantas Award last weekend was TVNZ’s Netball Production Crew under the direction of Barbara Mitchell.

The long serving TVNZ Sport Director’s team won Best Sports Broadcast on Saturday night for the International Netball Series 2008 but Barbara wasn’t able to receive the award, instead she was in Sydney preparing to direct and produce the first test between the Silver Ferns and Australia in this year’s International Netball Series.

“I take a lot of pride in my work and am always striving for perfection so winning the Qantas Award was awesome and a nice acknowledgement for my years with TVNZ especially those with the Sports Department.

These days there are many female directors in news and current affairs but there are still very few in sport.  Barbara was one of three TVNZ directors nominated for this year’s Qantas Award for Best Sports Broadcast.  The other two were David Turner for Powerbuilt Tools Motorsport and Steve Jamieson for the Heineken Open Tennis Finals.  Steve won Best Multi-Camera Direction for the IRB World 7s Series live from Wellington at the Qantas Craft Awards last Friday.

Barbara’s attention is now on the second test which she will be directing and producing live from Melbourne tonight, “The challenge in broadcasting live netball is being able to produce a quality product when the landscape in front and around you, is constantly changing. I love the adrenalin buzz and working with people who have the same standards and enthusiasm.

Silver Ferns versus Australia is live on TV ONE tonight from 9:30pm

Saturday 18 October, 7.30pm

ONE Sport have exclusively LIVE coverage of the third match between the Silver Ferns playing England tonight, as part of the 2008 New World International Netball Series.

Host Toni Street will be joined by commentators Julie Coney, Jenny-May Coffin and Kiri Wills for the Silver Ferns v England game at Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North.

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TV ONE’s live coverage of the first Silver Ferns test against Australia last night in Christchurch, in which they lost a close battle by 2 goals to the Australian Diamonds in the first of two tests in New Zealand, outrated the live screening on Sky Sport of the All Blacks Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup decider against Australia last weekend in Brisbane.

TV ONE peaked at a total audience of 568,100 during the Netball compared to the peak audience level on Sky Sport during the Rugby test of 428,300. The average total viewing audience on TV ONE was 523,400 compared to 397,300 on Sky.

“This is a fantastic result for TV ONE and shows the power of Free to Air broadcasting” said TVNZ General Manager of Sport Murray Needham. “This was the first of 7 tests which the Silver Ferns will play this year compared to the most important All Blacks test thus far this year, so the figures are very encouraging”.

The Silver Ferns play the second test against the Australian netball World Champions in Auckland this Saturday and then compete against England in a three test series early in October before travelling to Melbourne and Brisbane for two further encounters with their main netball rivals.