Four weeks out from the opening whistle, the revised 2020 ANZ Premiership schedule has been announced.
New Zealand’s elite netballers will battle it out throughout an action-packed 10-week season with matches played every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, all broadcast live on Sky Sport 3.
The season is closed to the public, with all fixtures played at Auckland Netball Centre to ensure all Ministry of Health and Worksafe NZ COVID-19 requirements are met within a controlled environment.
The Robinhood Northern Stars, Northern Mystics and Splice Construction Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic will all commute by road, while chartered flights have been scheduled for Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse, The Good Oil Tactix and Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel to allow for safe and controlled travel.
The season culminates with a triple-header Finals Series on Sunday 23 August with match-ups to be determined by standings at the conclusion of Round Robin play. Teams placed first and second on the competition ladder will meet in the Grand Final, following 3rd/4th and 5th/6th classification matches.
Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie said despite the forced changes, it was exciting to see the ANZ Premiership returning to action.
“While the situation is not ideal, it has also allowed for ingenuity and innovation around how we continue to present matches as a vibrant spectacle and maintain maximum engagement with fans and viewers,” she said.
“Players are excited about getting back on court and are able to do so thanks to a wide-ranging support base including ANZ, Sky, Premiership and Team partners as well as other contractors.”
ANZ Head of Sponsorship Sue McGregor said it was a great step forward for netball fans to be able to watch the ANZ Premiership again in 2020.
“We are thrilled to see the ANZ Premiership back on court in 2020. It’s a really positive move forward for us all and we hope it won’t be too long before the grassroots game can safely follow suit,” she said.
“We know fans are desperate to get playing again as we have seen through the applications received for the ANZ Good Sports Grants launched on Monday where we made $1m available to help netball and cricket clubs get back up and running.”
Sky’s Chief Content Officer Tex Teixeira said it was exciting to bring live netball back to fans through Sky Sport and Sky Sport Now.
“Sport is definitely getting back up and we are excited netball is one of the first. We’re so looking forward to getting courtside from Friday 19 June to broadcast every match on Sky Sport and stream on Sky Sport Now. We’re working hard to put together some great offers for fans, and will share the details as soon as we can,” he said.
Sky’s live coverage will be complemented with one delayed match free-to-air at 6.30pm every Sunday on Prime.
Action gets underway at 7pm on Friday 19 June with the Splice Construction Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic going up against the Northern Mystics.
Results from Round 1 played in March will stand, with the competition resuming under the new schedule from Round 2 onward.
Click here for the full revised schedule.