The JCU Townsville Fire will return to national television next season after the WNBL struck a three-year broadcast agreement with Fox Sports.
Under the arrangement, Fox Sports will broadcast a minimum of one game per week – plus every finals match under the best-of-three format – and will also work hand-in-hand with the league to develop marketing and commercial strategies.
“The WNBL is the longest running elite female competition in the country,” Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany said.
“It features incredible athletes, who are strong and fierce competitors.
“Today’s announcement will ensure that fans around the country will be able to watch these athletes live in action.
“This isn’t just another broadcast deal; it’s a partnership. We are invested in making a difference, and putting women’s basketball in Australia back on the map.”
Having fallen narrowly short of securing a WNBL three-peat last season, the Fire are well placed to capitalise on the new broadcast agreement, having led the league in membership and attendances for the past five years.
The Fire also led the WNBL in television audiences in 2014/15 on the ABC before the national broadcaster ended its long-term relationship with the league.
Fire General Manager Richard Goodbody said the announcement was a positive step forward for the WNBL.
“The JCU Townsville Fire are delighted with the return of the WNBL to television,” Goodbody said.
“We boast a world-class league, with exceptional female athletes, and the acquisition of Fox Sports provides us with a platform to amplify our brand across Australia.
“Having raised the bar on and off the court, we look forward to seeing our games broadcast out of Townsville Stadium and giving our members and fans the opportunity to see us playing on the road.
“From a commercial perspective, we hope this is a game changer for the entire competition.”
The WNBL will work with Fox Sports ahead of the 2017/18 season to finalise a number of details including the broadcast schedule.