VNL to expand to 18 teams from 2025 onwards

CEV-FIVB : Infos mar 13 février 2024

The Volleyball Nations League (VNL) is set to be bigger and better than ever. Building on the monumental success of the VNL 2023, from 2025 onwards the world’s most prestigious annual volleyball competition will expand to 18 teams, alongside format changes that will elevate the VNL experience for athletes, fans, and all stakeholders.

With the first edition of the VNL staged in 2018, the current agreements with participating teams run until 2024, providing the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate and improve the VNL from 2025 onwards.

This opportunity was made unmissable by the success of last year’s edition, which saw record broadcast and Volleyball TV (VBTV) viewership, a surge in social engagement and sold-out venues throughout the event. Impressively, the cumulative global audience grew by a remarkable 48% growth from 2022 to 2023. Moreover, the sponsorship value of the VNL increased by 27%, and TV viewership increased by 13% to 630 million. The VNL 2023 also captivated a vast audience with a social media reach of 214 million.

The enhancements to the VNL were proposed by the FIVB/Volleyball World team after feedback and insights from all key stakeholders. The aim is to ensure the VNL remains not only a world-class spectacle through continued improvements to the fan experience and live event, but most importantly, to allow the VNL to be brought to even more countries every year. This is to ensure that audiences worldwide can enjoy top-tier international volleyball action both on TV and in person.

The VNL will bring the best of volleyball every year to fans globally. An increased number of pools per week in the VNL means fans will have six more opportunities to witness the volleyball spectacle live. This is also a huge development for the players, who will have more opportunities to engage directly with fans from around the world and expand their reach and fan base year on year.

The reimagined VNL from 2025 onward

In a move that reflects the rising level of national teams worldwide, the VNL will expand to 18 teams from 2025 onwards, offering fans more opportunities to rally behind their heroes as they face off against the globe's volleyball elite.

To facilitate this, there will be no relegation for the VNL 2024 participating teams, while the winner of the 2024 Volleyball Challenger Cup, plus the top ranked not-yet-qualified team as per the Senior Volleyball World Ranking, will join the participating teams of the VNL 2025. As of the 2025 edition, the Core team status shall be abolished with the last team in the competition’s final standing relegated, and the top team not yet qualified as per the Senior Volleyball World Ranking promoted into the following edition of the VNL.