‘It’s keeping people engaged’: Super Shot lauded as grand final grabs peak audience of 450,000
Super Netball boss Chris Symington says a rise in the amount of netball watched on TV this year is due to the introduction of the Super Shot, with the code set to announce this week whether the rule is here to stay.
TV viewership numbers released by Netball Australia on Tuesday showed fans spent an average of 16.2 per cent more time watching 2020 matches compared to last year.
Symington said the super shot kept fans "engaged" for longer periods this year.
"Anecdotally, I've been getting really good feedback on the introduction of Super Shot as a different element into the game," he said. "It's keeping people engaged throughout the game … because of the way it is structured in the last five minutes of each quarter."
The Super Netball chief also said fans were engaged by the discussion created by the two-point goal, even though many players were against it.
"The different strategies and the way teams adjusted during the year … that provided another lens to look through," he said.
We are up 10 per cent in terms of our average audience over the whole season.
The grand final between the West Coast Fever and Melbourne Vixens on Sunday had a peak audience of 448,000. The average audience throughout the match was 303,659. The broadcast reached more than 930,000 people nationwide during the entire game.
"That bigger number is the reach, that basically captures everyone, people tune in for more than a minute, they get captured into a reach number," he said.
"We are up 10 per cent in terms of our average audience over the whole season."
Symington said the code would announce this week whether the rule changes for 2020 would remain. The code also introduced rolling substitutions this year and had planned to bring in an extra time rule for 2021.
Overall, he said player feedback on the rule had been "split".
"Some like it, some don't, some can see why it was brought in," he said. "So it's a fair representation to say there is a whole diversity of views across the playing group."
Symington also said the league saw an increase in viewers in Victoria and Perth, which has been attributed to the success of the Vixens and Fever.
"Our job as a league has been to expose people to the sport, we know that once they see it they see how entertaining it is," he said. "It's fast paced and there's not a lot of down time, it's packaged up really well."
The league is conducting "further research" to determine whether the year-on-year rise on overall viewership was a direct result of COVID-19, with fans unable to attend games.
"It's hard to tell because it's been such a unique year," he said. "I'd like to think being the only elite female sport back on TV has worked in our favour. The quality of the product hasn't been compromised in any way."
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