The Bendigo Spirit and Townsville Fire go head to head at Bendigo Stadium.
The Bendigo Spirit and Townsville Fire go head to head at Bendigo Stadium. Michael Dodge

WNBL making a comeback to TV screens

WOMEN'S basketball will return to national television from next season after Fox Sports and Basketball Australia confirmed a new three-year broadcast partnership.

The deal, starting from the 2017-18 season, will include showing at least one game per week, plus every finals match, live on Fox Sports.

The competition runs from October until January, with best-of-three semi-finals and grand final series.

"It's a great day for the WNBL and we are thrilled to be entering into this partnership with Fox Sports," WNBL head Sally Phillips said.

"As someone who has been involved with the WNBL as a player and administrator over the past 27 years, this announcement is truly amazing.

"I love this game and I am so excited that our clubs and our athletes will be back in the spotlight receiving the recognition and respect they deserve.

"The WNBL is globally elite and a broadcast partnership provides us with a vital perception piece and communication platform for our sport that has been missing over the past two seasons. I'm so happy for our fans that have missed tuning in each week."

The partnership is aimed at developing commercial models, sponsorship packages, marketing and publicity support, and to help the league build community initiatives and increase attendance and memberships.

"The WNBL is the longest-running elite female competition in the country," Fox Sports chief executive Patrick Delany said.

"It features incredible athletes, who are strong and fierce competitors. For too long the league has been invisible with no broadcast partner.

"Today's announcement will ensure that fans around the country will be able to watch these athletes live in action.

"This isn't just another broadcast deal; it's a partnership. We are invested in making a difference, and putting women's basketball in Australia back on the map."