By Darlington Gatsi
PREMIER Netball League (PNL) has secured a landmark broadcasting deal with a local media company and will become the first women’s sport in the country to have its matches beamed on national television.
The broadcasting deal will see the upcoming PNL season’s matches streamed, beginning with a pre-season tournament that will be held in Chitungwiza Saturday.
The agreement was signed Tuesday in Harare.
Zimbabwe Netball Association (ZINA) president Leticia Chipandu acclaimed the milestone deal by PNL saying it will bring exposure to players in the process developing the women’s game.
“I don’t really have words to express how I feel. Thank you very much 3Ktv for partnering with PNL. I am happy to say now that we have a broadcaster for netball starting with PNL, it is going to improve our chances of getting sponsorship. It is going to improve influence from the game. I am happy to see that the League is growing,” said Leticia Chipandu.
However details of the broadcasting deal are shrouded in secrecy with PNL refusing to divulge financial returns.
The duration of the broadcasting rights are also a mystery.
This will come as a boost to a sport that has been lagging behind in terms of talent exposure for local netball players.
The deal will also mark another trajectory the game is taking in professionalising itself after years of operating in shadows.
PNL chairperson Sarudzai Chapo spoke glowingly of the deal saying it will open floodgates of corporate partners.
“This is a nascent project, with 3ktv still being young and us marking three years old. We will be reviewing the deals based on increase of viewership of our games and also companies. This deal will obviously be beneficial to both parties,” said Sarudzai Chapo.