Sky Sports and BBC are to show the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019, which takes place in Liverpool from 12-21 July.
Sky Sports will be the host broadcaster for the tournament – which takes place at Echo Arena Liverpool – and will show every game live on each day of the tournament across Sky Sports platforms, with the BBC also showing every game free-to-air across its TV and digital channels from day four onwards.
Sky Sports has broadcast live netball since 2006, including each of the last three World Cups in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Sky’s broadcast agreement with Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 extends this to a fourth tournament. It continues Sky’s relationship with England Netball, having been the main broadcaster of England’s international series, Quad Series and the Vitality Netball Superleague, which saw its most successful season in 2018 with viewing figures more than doubling.
Since netball was introduced into the Commonwealth Games in 1998, the BBC has made it an integral part of its coverage. During the 2014 Games, the BBC’s TV coverage of netball across the event reached an audience of five million, and in 2018, 1.5 million tuned in to the netball final to see the England Roses claim their first-ever gold medal in the last shot of the match against hosts Australia. Also broadcast this year were the World Cup qualifiers featuring Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and England’s Quad Series fixture against New Zealand in the build-up to next year’s tournament.
Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “A home Netball World Cup is hugely exciting for netball fans in the UK and we’re delighted to be able to bring fans every single minute of the action, on TV and across our social and digital platforms. Netball has gone from strength to strength over the last decade, with Superleague audiences growing and England’s women leading the charge. With a home World Cup to look forward to, we’re certain that’s set to continue.”
Director of BBC Sport, Barbara Slater, said: “We’re extremely proud to be the free-to-air broadcast partner for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019. This new deal reinforces the BBC’s commitment to ensuring top-class women’s sport reaches the widest possible audience.
“We’ve seen the drama and excitement that major competitions can produce with the heroics of the Roses at the Commonwealth Games. We have no doubt that this World Cup will excite viewers across the UK in equal measure.”
“We are delighted to confirm Sky Sports and BBC as UK broadcast partners for Vitality Netball World Cup 2019, as we build momentum towards the tournament,” said Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 Chair Nicky Dunn.
“We are pleased to be working with broadcast partners who are passionate about women’s sport and look forward to working together to showcase netball and the Vitality Netball World Cup to new and existing audiences, with high-quality and engaging coverage throughout the event.”
The action will be shown worldwide with broadcasters outside the UK to be announced by the International Netball Federation at a later date.
The event – which is to be delivered by Netball World Cup 2019 Limited in partnership with England Netball, UK Sport, Liverpool City Council and ACC Liverpool on behalf of the International Netball Federation – will take place at Echo Arena Liverpool from 12-21 July 2019.
It is already proving to be in high demand with over 75,000 tickets already sold and hundreds of thousands more fans expected to enjoy the event through broadcast.
September’s draw pitched Commonwealth Games gold medal winners England against Scotland as Group D opponents in the Preliminaries Stage One.
Host nation England, who are second seeds for the first time in their history, after climbing up the world rankings following their historic Commonwealth Games gold medal victory in April 2018, will also face 7th seeds Uganda and Samoa in Group D, along with Scotland as 9th seeds.
After the draw was made, England coach Tracey Neville said: ‘’I think all nations have been waiting for the draw for the Netball World Cup so we can forecast who we’re going to be up against, prepare our teams and set our game plans. We had a really close game against Uganda at the Commonwealth Games and our Home Nations are always coming out to battle as well, so that brings on a really exciting outlook for us.
‘’We have obviously got some huge preparations as we come into this international phase. The key for us now is to try and find and select the best players who can give us the best possible outcome, given the draw. It’s a really exciting journey for us.’’
Scotland team captain Claire Maxwell, (formerly Brownie), said: ‘’Obviously it’s a tough group but I believe every group is tough with where netball is at the moment, with some incredible talent and players at the top of their game.
‘’We faced both England and Uganda at the Commonwealth Games so we know what styles they bring and there’s definitely some fantastic talent, including Uganda’s Peace Proscovia who is going from strength to strength and is one of the key players in world netball.’’
Fellow Europe region qualifiers Northern Ireland, seeded 8th for the prestigious event, will have a challenging clash over in Group A against top ranked Australia the reigning champions and will also face Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
The Zimbabwe team are one to watch as first time qualifiers in next year’s tournament, ranking second to Uganda in the NWC2019 Regional Qualifier – Africa last month.
Northern Ireland’s captain, Caroline O’Hanlon, said: ”Obviously all the teams who’ve qualified are going to be good and we want to be playing against the best, like Australia who we faced at the Commonwealth Games.
‘’We were up against Sri Lanka in the last World Cup and they’re tough to play against. Their shooter is really tall and she’s just come back into the fold, which is having a significant positive impact on their results. We know what their style is, it’s just tough to stop them going ahead and doing it. We don’t know anything about Zimbabwe but they’re an up and coming team, which is exciting.’’
In the other Preliminaries Stage One groups, Jamaica and South Africa (4th and 5th seeds respectively) will meet along with Trinidad and Tobago and Fiji in Group C. In Group B, 6th seeds Malawi will take on 3rd seeds New Zealand, with Barbados and Singapore completing the line-up.
The event – which is to be delivered by Netball World Cup 2019 Limited in partnership with the INF, England Netball, UK Sport, Liverpool City Council and ACC Liverpool – takes place at Echo Arena Liverpool from 12-21 July 2019.
Commonwealth Gold Medallist Jade Clarke, pictured, has been named as a Netball World Cup 2019 ambassador. The mid-courter, won her 150thcap in 2018 to become the most-capped player of all time in the Roses squad.
The event is sponsored by health and life insurance and investments provider, Vitality which recently announced a three-year extension of its partnership with England Netball in one of the largest deals in women’s sport in the UK.
Vitality is also the title sponsor of the Vitality Netball Superleague, the UK’s top-level netball competition featuring teams across England, Scotland and Wales, and the Vitality Netball International Series.
Nicky Dunn said: “Vitality has been a loyal supporter of netball for a number of years, so it’s great to be teaming up together for this historic sporting event. Since England’s Gold Coast win, netball has really been gripping the nation and the attraction of such stand-out supporters and sponsors is a reflection of how exciting the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 is going to be.”
Vitality CEO Neville Koopowitz added: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019, which further strengthens our commitment to the continuing growth of the game following the renewal of our partnership with England Netball and the Vitality Roses for three more years. The Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 promises to be an incredible event and we can’t wait to watch all the action next summer.”
Tickets for the event are still available: https://www.nwc2019.co.uk/tickets/
The full competition schedule and dates for Preliminaries Stage One is :
Netball World Cup 2019: Preliminaries Stage One Draw & Match Dates:
A1 Australia (1st seed)
A2 Northern Ireland (8th seed)
A3 Zimbabwe (12th seed)
A4 Sri Lanka (16th seed)
B1 New Zealand (3rd seed)
B2 Malawi (6th seed)
B3 Barbados (11th seed)
B4 Singapore (15th seed)
C1 Jamaica (4th seed)
C2 South Africa (5th seed)
C3 Trinidad & Tobago (10th seed)
C4 Fiji (13th seed)
D1 England (2nd seed)
D2 Uganda (7th seed)
D3 Scotland (9th seed)
D4 Samoa (14th seed)
Friday 12 July
Session one court one: New Zealand (B1) v Malawi (B2), Australia (A1) v Northern Ireland (A2),
Session one court two: Barbados (B3) v Singapore (B4), Zimbabwe (A3) v Sri Lanka (A4)
Session two court one: Opening ceremony, Jamaica (C1) v Fiji (C4), England (D1) v Uganda (D2)
Session two court two: Opening ceremony, South Africa (C2) v Trinidad and Tobago (C3) Scotland (D3) v Samoa (D4)
Saturday 13 July
Session three court one: Australia (A1) v Zimbabwe (A3), New Zealand (B1) v Barbados (B3)
Session three court two: Northern Ireland (A2) v Sri Lanka (A4), Malawi (B2) v Singapore (B4)
Session four court one: England (D1) v Scotland (D3), Jamaica (C1) v Trinidad and Tobago (C3)
Session four court two: Uganda (D2) v Samoa (D4), South Africa (C2) v Fiji (C4)
Sunday 14 July
Session five court one: New Zealand (B1) v Singapore (B4), England (D1) v Samoa (D4)
Session five court two: Malawi (B2) v Barbados (B3), Uganda (D2) v Scotland (D3)
Session six court one: Australia (A1) v Sri Lanka (A4), Jamaica (C1) v South Africa (C2)
Session six court two: Northern Ireland (A2) v Zimbabwe (A3), Trinidad and Tobago (C3) v Fiji (C4)