Johannesburg - Netball South Africa (NSA) announced a five-year broadcast partnership on Monday with SuperSport which will see netball being broadcast live from 2013.
The broadcaster, which covered eight matches of the international Diamond Challenge series in August, said it would focus its coverage on the national senior team and the new Netball Premier League.
Mimi Mthethwa, the president of NSA, was delighted with the five-year deal.
“I have always said that netball is the sleeping giant of South African sport and now finally it can take its rightful place alongside the major codes,” Mthethwa said.
“We have been looking for a broadcasting partner who will shape the code of netball in South Africa.
“NSA’s objectives are to surround ourselves with the best stakeholders and help them become an even more professional organisation both on and off the field.
“SuperSport obviously fulfils this objective and will present us in the best possible light."
The netball federation hoped the move would ensure it did not lose players to foreign countries.
In the past, several South African netballers had travelled overseas to gain experience.
Proteas captain Amanda Mynhardt recently returned from New Zealand where she spent three months playing for an amateur club.
“We hope that this deal encourages our players to play in the domestic league so that other countries don’t benefit from our development,” Mthethwa said.
SuperSport chief executive Happy Ntshingila believed the partnership had come at the right time and would help build support for the sport.
“With its massive numbers and competitive nature, netball has much going for it,” Ntshingila said.
“We hope that with our broadcast investment we can help take the sport to another level.
“We are delighted that netball is now part of the SuperSport family."
The broadcast rights include the national regional championships, club championships, Fast Net Series, Netball Mania festival, national schools and university championships, and national youth clinics.