Netball fans around the globe are witnessing the intensity of the FAST5 Netball World Series following the announcement new territories have been added to the broadcast list.
Along with traditional nations like Australia and England, games are also being screened into Jamaica, Canada, the Tri-State area of the US and the sub-Sahara region in South Africa.
Netball New Zealand chief executive Hilary Poole said she was thrilled with the exposure the sport was receiving.
“It’s really important to take FAST5 to the world and this allows us to do exactly that.” she said.
“People understand what FAST5 is all about now and the excitement, unpredictability and flair that it brings. There’s a lot of teams prepared to take some risks this year and be more creative and that’s really added to the appeal of the game.”
Jamaica Netball Association president Marva Bernard said broadcasting the tournament live into the Caribbean would thrust the Sunshine Girls into the spotlight.
“We want people to see what we see in the Sunshine Girls … the fact we have been able to broker this deal will help the cause of netball in Jamaica,” she said.
She had received over 50 messages in the past 24 hours from people in areas outside the broadcast zones, including Seattle, seeking coverage.
“We have discovered there is a tremendous need for the games to screened live,” she said. “The people that don’t have cable now want to pay to see it.”
“They will see how fabulous this game is – it’s tough and it’s fierce and it’s fast. And they will see our Sunshine Girls are right up there with the rest, competing on the international stage and representing Jamaica with passion and pride.”
Jamaican shooting ace Jhaniele Fowler said the players were “pumped” to know their families were watching.
“We are all extremely excited. This has never happened before – they have never been able to watch us when we play away from home,” she said.
“It doesn’t add to the pressure, it just adds to our determination to play harder.”