For netball fans, there's one event which simply can't be missed. Though the national championships and commonwealth games bring top thrills, nothing can quite match the Netball World Cup. Following from the great success of the 2011 Singapore world cup, this years competition will be held in Sydney, the scene of the Olympic Games in 2000. The worlds top teams, including the defending champions of Australia will convene in Sydney's Olympic Park in August in order to crown the 2015 winner and send the other sides back to the training ground for another four years of preparation. In celebration of the rising support for professional netball in the UK, Sky have signed agreement which will see them broadcasting the competition live across their Sports channels.
That means all the key matches, including live coverage of favourites England along with the semi-finals and the final itself. It's part of a broader move on Sky's behalf to show more women's sporting events after pressure on Skys phone number and after failing to meet their own internal targets during 2014. This year will also see the broadcast of the Solheim Cup, the England Women's rugby internationals and every single ball of the Women's Ashes. That last competition will be getting its Sky Sports debut this year, and will doubtlessly attract more attention to the competition than has ever before.
Competition during the 2015 Netball World Cup is expected to be fierce, with the Home Nations' interests being spearheaded by England. We're currently ranked third in the world, and defender Geva Mentor was recently voted the world's best netballer by her peers and judges. We lost by just a single point against both Australia and New Zealand at the recent Commonwealth Games, and will most certainly be looking to reassert ourselves on Netball's biggest stage.
All parties in this deal seem quite happy, even the normally critical customers on the Sky payment contact number. Barney Francis, Sky Sports' managing director, said: “There’s never been a better time to be a netball fan with participation up and sell-out crowds at Superleague matches, so we’re delighted to add the World Cup to the Sky Sports schedule.
“We’re proud of our netball coverage and we can’t wait to follow the Home Nations teams at the World Cup later this year. The competition strengthens our commitment to women’s sport even further which this year alone includes the Solheim Cup, England Women’s rugby and for the first time every ball of the Women’s Ashes.”
Meanwhile, Marne Fechner, chief executive of the Netball World Cup Sydney 2015 commented: "We are thrilled to have the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 broadcast on Sky Sports. This is a significant moment for the event, being our first international broadcast announcement that will ensure netball fans across the world have the chance to watch the World Cup.
“With Netball England hosting the World Cup in 2019, we’re looking forward to working with Sky Sports over the coming months to build the profile of the sport and this fantastic event. The Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 promises to be the most successful World Cup in history, setting new benchmarks for international netball, delivering a strong legacy for our sport and our broadcast coverage will be no exception. We’re confident that our Australian and International broadcasters will again raise the bar, bringing our amazing athletes and the incredible spectacle they will create, into lounge rooms across the globe.”
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