Basketball Australia Looking for WNBL to Get Similar Broadcast Deal as NBL

By Community | September 13, 2012

Basketball Australia (BA) chief Kristina Keneally is looking for the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) to follow on the footsteps of the men’s competition and complete a similar type of online broadcast deal.

The chief executive will make her first visit to Townsville today to attend tonight’s Townsville Fire season launch.

Keneally signalled Basketball Australia’s (BA) intent to raise the profile of the women’s competition.

The former New South Wales Premier – who took over the role at BA in August – said she was confident a deal securing an improved ABC viewing timeslot for the WNBL was only weeks away.

The goal was to seek more opportunities in digital media, similar to NBL, including a TV online broadcast deal for live and on-demand games on mobile and tablet devices.

“There are slightly more challenges in that … some of our WNBL teams are often more regionally based, but nonetheless we’ve made clear to our broadcast partners, Perform Media, that’s the next step we see in this relationship,” she said.

Keneally said the creation of the WNBL Commission – of which Townsville Fire chairwoman Jayne Arlett is a member – and the combined NBL/WNBL launch and pre-season tournament next week showed BA was committed to creating an equal focus on the two leagues and to promote them as strongly as possible.

“Right across the spectrum – whether you’re talking basketball or any other sport – it is always a challenge to secure the same profile for the men’s and women’s competitions,” Keneally said.

“I think we’re seeing that change in Australia with the success of the Opals at the Olympics and the recognition that some of the best female basketball players in the world play in the WNBL.”

Keneally said the work done by the Fire with attendance numbers, and other factors, set a great example for the rest of the competition to follow.