Former Netball New Zealand board chair Kereyn Smith says netball franchises may need to be more businesslike to survive.
The Southern Steel franchise is forecasting it will make a loss substantially higher than last year's $45,000 deficit.
Ms Smith, who's now New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary general, says netball franchises are often owned by sports unions or regional bodies.
She says they don't have the same business drive as professional sports teams overseas.
Two of the five netball franchises in new Zealand expect to make a loss this year, two hope to break even and one is looking at a small surplus.
Netball New Zealand says it is looking hard at the business model.