A revolution in badminton is coming later this year in the form of a brand new league which will be screened on Sky Sports.
The all-new National Badminton League (NBL) was revealed on Tuesday by Badminton England and will launch in October, aimed at attracting new fans, while satisfying the sport’s existing supporters.
Each match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, and streamed online for fans all over the world to enjoy.
There will be a whole new set of rules for players to get used to too, to add to the excitement.
The NBL will consist of six franchised teams featuring GB’s best players and new, emerging talent.
The teams will be: Birmingham Lions, Team Derby, Loughborough Sport, UoN Badminton (Nottingham), Surrey Smashers and Milton Keynes.
The NBL matches will be played to abbreviated scoring including an exciting tie break set, with final format testing being completed in the next few weeks.
The five matches will be men’s and women’s singles, and mixed, men’s and women’s doubles.
With the games faster than ever, the non-stop new format will open the sport up to new audiences and millions of new fans.
The teams will purchase players in an auction format on 2nd June with each team featuring 8 players. Teams will feature the best talent from this country including Olympians, Team England players and also have the ability buy European and International talent.
Badminton England Chief Executive Adrian Christy said: “I am incredibly excited to announce the launch of the first ever professional badminton league in the UK.
“Badminton is booming in this country right now and the NBL gives fans a chance to get behind a team and support their favourite players.
“This amazing new project will present our sport in such an exciting way – the fastest racket sport just got even faster. It will not only showcase our current players but provide a real inspiration for younger players to want to be part of in the future.
“I am delighted that we have the support of Sky Sports, a brand which has led the way in sport innovation for many years now.
“Key to the NBL is taking badminton to new audiences, and Sky is brilliant at doing that.”
Sky Sports Commercial Director Richard Verow said: “We’re looking forward to working with Badminton England in this innovative new format.
“Sky Sports is pleased to be a partner in this move, helping to create more fans of badminton and bringing the best of the action to Sky Sports viewers.”