Exposure for WNBL with pay TV deal
ALL eight WNBL teams will play a “cluster” round in Melbourne in the upcoming season as the league prepares to return to television after a two- year absence.
With each team to play 21 games this year, the round, expected to be pencilled in for mid- season, means every team will be allocated 10 home games and 10 away trips, with the Melbourne quadruple header deemed a “neutral” round.
The round was initially planned for season tip- off in early October, but it is understood a scheduling clash with the Bathurst 1000 prompted a rethink.
Townsville Fire have been allocated a New Year's Eve game for the second straight year, a fixture the now- defunct NBL franchise Townsville Crocodiles previously embraced as their own.
It is also understood the Fire are considering not returning home during a window of consecutive road trips included in the draw, expected to be released tomorrow.
Fox Sports will broadcast games live this year which should breath new life into the league, invisible since long- time broadcaster ABC axed its coverage two years ago.
The pay TV deal was vital for the league to compete for talent and fans in an evergrowing female sport marketplace where netball, cricket, soccer and the fledgling AFL Women’s all have lucrative broadcast arrangements.
“It’s fantastic for our product to be back on screen, it’s too good for people not to see what we’re all about,” Fire player Mia Murray said.
“It’s such a great game and participation levels at junior levels are massive, that’s what people need to realise.”