While records were smashed on court, numbers were sky high for attendance and viewership.
The Adelaide Thunderbirds and NSW Swifts played Saturday’s grand final in front of a sold-out crowd of 9,622, marking the largest John Cain Arena crowd in the Suncorp Super Netball League era.
The 2023 Grand Final – which was competing for the first time in the Saturday night primetime slot against the AFL, NRL and The Ashes – was also the most watched Suncorp Super Netball match ever on Foxtel, with Fox Sports linear audiences up 14 per cent compared to last year’s decider.
The match was also available to stream free on Kayo Freebies and was the second most streamed Suncorp Super Netball match of all time.
Fox Sports Australia provided live and on-demand coverage of every match of the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball season via Foxtel and Kayo Sports, with viewership this season up 10 per cent compared to 2022. This growth included a nine per cent increase in audiences watching on Fox Sports on Foxtel, and an 11 per cent increase in streaming audiences across Kayo Sports and Foxtel Go/Now. In addition, viewership of Kayo Minis doubled compared to the 2022 season and the audience watching matches available on Kayo Freebies grew 18 per cent.
Kayo Sports Executive Director, Cate Hefele commended the second year of the Foxtel Group and Netball Australia’s broadcast partnership.
“There was no more fitting way to cap an incredible season of Suncorp Super Netball than with Saturday night’s thrilling Grand Final between the Thunderbirds and Swifts,” Hefele said.
“We are passionate about continuing to grow the sport of netball and in the second year of our partnership with Netball Australia, we’ve worked hard to bring the league to even more Aussies through more matches on Kayo Freebies, innovation in broadcasting and world-class commentary and insights from the most talented and respected netball voices in the country.
“Fans were given unparalleled access to players, coaches and behind-the-scenes action on game days and via our weekly magazine shows Centre Circle, Pivot and The 4th Qtr and we’ve seen the renewed reach and engagement with fans reflected in the record viewership.”
In 2023, 266,197 fans attended matches during the home and away season – well up from 213,428 the year prior. The figures are up from pre-Covid times when the largest attendance record was set at 235,003 in 2019.
The Adelaide Thunderbirds played off against the Sunshine Coast Lightning at Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Round 13 in front of more than 9,000 fans.
While the West Coast Fever led the way. Not once, but twice this season they have broken their home crowd record at the RAC Arena.
First it was in their Round 12 match up against the Sunshine Coast Lightning, where 10,764 fans packed the venue. The following week they broke their own record again with 11,013 fans attending their match against the GIANTS.
Club memberships growth was also apparent in 2023 increasing by 20 per cent with 30,675 members across the eight Suncorp Super Netball clubs.
International fans’ appetite for Suncorp Super Netball ascended in 2023 with 144 countries accessing matches via Netball Australia TV, 23 more than last year. Viewership via the streaming service was up 202 per cent compared to the 2022 season, and an increase of 274 per cent to the minutes watched.
The groundbreaking figures suggest the competition on court is only continuing to improve each year as the cohort of athletes continues to get stronger.