Lagardère to sell media rights to next two Netball World Cups
By Jonathan Rest
The Lagardère Sports agency has won the contract to exclusively distribute global media rights to the next two editions of the Netball World Cup, Sportcal can reveal.
The agreement covers next year's tournament in Liverpool, England and the 2023 World Cup, which will be staged in either New Zealand or South Africa.
Also included in the contract are the 2021 Netball Youth World Cup in Suva, Fiji, the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup and the annual Fast5 Netball World Series, albeit it is now understood that that tournament will not be held in 2019 as the International Netball Federation is considering what direction to take with the shorter, faster version of the sport, which features five players per team rather than the traditional seven.
Lagardère will be able to exploit the rights on a multi-platform basis outside of the host nation, which is responsible for selling the domestic rights and providing for and paying for the host broadcast operation.
The host broadcaster for the Liverpool 2019 Netball World Cup is expected to be announced next month, Sportcal understands.
Lagardère was one of 10 agencies and broadcasters to bid for the INF rights after the governing body launched an invitation to tender in January.
Four companies were shortlisted before Lagardère was chosen by the board of directors, largely because of its work with netball in the past. This included its erstwhile Sportfive agency helping Netball Australia with the sale of media rights to the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney and the agency's deal, announced last year, with the Commonwealth Games Federation, the organiser of the games, presently netball's biggest international shop window.
The INF is continuing work on the development of its mobile app, and may well work with Lagardère on the roll-out of the platform, which will particularly focus on live streams of matches from the Youth World Cup and World Cup qualifiers in the next cycle.
The ITT, seen by Sportcal, also offered companies the chance to acquire or manage the sponsorship rights to the Netball World Cup, albeit that is not thought to be part of Lagardère's remit initially.
The INF is working with the Liverpool 2019 organising committee and England Netball on the sale of sponsorship rights for next year's tournament.
The host of the 2023 Netball World Cup is expected to be announced by March 2019, with INF officials in the process of visiting Auckland in New Zealand and Cape Town in South Africa to assess the two bids.
The evaluation process is being overseen independently by Matthew Curtain, the CGF's former director of sport and international federation relations, who left his previous role in February, and Emma Cowley, a major events consultant with UK Sport, who worked on Liverpool's bid to host the 2019 tournament, with support from INF president Molly Rhone.