Australia’s leading women’s sport will welcome an all new Australian competition, five-year landmark broadcast deal with Channel Nine and Telstra and three new teams into the competition. “Netball Victoria is proud of the outstanding contribution our community and our team, the Melbourne Vixens, have made in creating this opportunity for netball. We expect this to drive increased investment into netball, investment that should contribute to the growth and development of the netball community throughout Australia,” said Netball Victoria’s President Jenny Sanchez. From February 2017, Netball Australia will deliver a new 8-team national netball league held across 17 weeks. The new league introduced will be positioned as ‘the world’s premier women’s sporting league’ and will replace the current ANZ Championship competition in Australia. The new five-year broadcast deal will allow netball fans across the country to be able to watch all Australian netball content live, including the new national netball league, Fast5 World Netball Series and Diamonds international test matches. The broadcasting deal with Nine Network and Telstra is a breakthrough for women’s sport, ensuring live free-to-air television for two games a week and live streaming and delayed television for all games from the 2017 season. With the introduction of Collingwood Football Club, Netball New South Wales / Greater Western Sydney Giants and Melbourne Storm into the 2017 competition, it will provide more opportunities for Victorian athletes coming through Netball Victoria’s high performance pathway. Speaking to Netball Victoria’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Katie Reaper about the introduction of the new 2017 competition format, she said, “Netball Victoria is excited about the new competition format and ground breaking broadcast deal that greatly rewards the brilliant work women over generations have done to place our sport in this current position. “We anticipate a number of long-term benefits to arise from this announcement for netball in Victoria, including deserved exposure of our sport through media, increased interest in netball leading to more fans, participants and commercial partners and most importantly our Victorian athletes having greater opportunities to play at the highest level possible as a result of more playing positions available across the competition,” Reaper added. New teams will not only increase the competitions rivalry, it will also allow greater opportunities for athletes globally to play in what will be labelled the world’s best league.