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The Sad Demise of the NBL

Published on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Sad Demise of the NBL

Dear All,

I am writing to confirm that, with enormous regret, we have taken the decision to cease the National Badminton League (NBL) with immediate effect.

Since its launch in August 2014, the NBL has over-achieved in its mission to bring a new and younger audience and greater profile, including regular TV broadcast, to the sport.

It has delivered some amazing exposure for English badminton.

  • Over 1.3 million viewers have watched NBL fixtures on domestic TV – through both Sky Sports and BT Sport - and online, with fans from over 120 different nations engaging with the league across social and web channels.
  • The NBL has introduced a new TV broadcaster to badminton (BT Sport) who extended their support by broadcasting the 2017 YONEX All England.
  • In addition, a new commercial partner (AJ Bell) for Badminton England was secured; the investment was their first investment into badminton
  • The NBL has offered over 130 players from 15 different nations - including many of Britain’s best young players - the chance to play regularly in front of sell out crowds and TV audiences
  • Season 3 alone showcased an impressive 12 Rio 2016 Olympians such was the level of status in which the NBL was held

However, the financial demands to continue to develop the NBL and the high standard of event delivery required, is a significant cost to Badminton England at a time when we are making tough decisions about our people and our activities as a consequence of recent funding decisions. The NBL is something that we do not believe to be self-sustainable in the short to medium term and subsequently is something we are unable to protect alongside our attempts to ensure resilience across the core of our sport.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those Referees, Umpires and Line Judges who have been so supportive of the NBL and gave up so much time to support it. You have each been amazing and I am incredibly grateful to you.

This is a very sad day for me and for England badminton. We have worked so hard over many years to develop our own national league and having to now make such a difficult decision is not easy, however, I believe it is the right one when we have other priorities to consider.

Kind regards

Adrian Christy
Chief Executive
Badminton England

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Author: Mike Wright

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